Propulsion mechanism of catalytic microjet engines
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We describe the propulsion mechanism of the catalytic microjet engines that are fabricated using rolled-up nanotech. Microjets have recently shown numerous potential applications in nanorobotics but currently there is a lack of an accurate theoretical model that describes the origin of the motion as well as the mechanism of self-propulsion. The geometric asymmetry of a tubular microjet leads to the development of a capillary force, which tends to propel a bubble toward the larger opening of the tube. Because of this motion in an asymmetric tube, there emerges a momentum transfer to the fluid. In order to compensate this momentum transfer, a jet force acting on the tube occurs. This force, which is counterbalanced by the linear drag force, enables tube velocities of the order of 100 µm/s. This mechanism provides a fundamental explanation for the development of driving forces that are acting on bubbles in tubular microjets.
CitationFomin, V.M. [et al.]. Propulsion mechanism of catalytic microjet engines. "IEEE transactions on robotics", 05 Febrer 2014, vol. 30, núm. 1, p. 40-48.