Commentary Open Access
Volume 3 | Issue 1 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/Nanotechnol.3.028

Small Scale Propulsion: How Systematic Studies of Low Reynolds Number Physics Can Bring Micro/Nanomachines to New Horizons

  • 1Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Stuttgart, and Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2Leibnitz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden, Germany
  • 3National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Moscow, Russia
+ Affiliations - Affiliations

Corresponding Author

Paul Wrede, wrede@is.mpg.de; Mariana Medina-Sánchez, m.medina-sanchez@ifw-dresden.de; Vladimir M. Fomin, v.fomin@ifw-dresden.de

Received Date: November 30, 2021

Accepted Date: January 06, 2022


Micromachines are small-scale human-made machines with remarkable potential for medical treatments, microrobotics and environmental remediation applications. However, meaningful real-world applications are missing. This is mainly caused by their small size leading to unintuitive physics of motion. Motivated by the aim of understanding the fundamental physics at the micrometer scale and thereby overcoming resulting challenges, we discuss the importance of robust models supported by experimental data. Our previously performed study on the switching in propulsion mechanisms for conical tubular catalytic micromotors will be summarized and serve as an example for discussion. We emphasize on the need for systematic experimental studies to enable the design of highly application-oriented micromachines, which can be translated into real-world scenarios.


Micromotors, Microrobots, Microswimmers, Chemical propulsion, Bubble-based propulsion

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