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Advanced Functional Materials 2018, 28(40), 1802762

Nanorobots Constructed from Nanoclay: Using Nature to Create Self‐Propelled Autonomous Nanomachines

Self‐propelled, autonomous micro and nanomachines are at the forefront of current nanotechnology. These micro and nanodevices move actively to perform desired tasks, usually using chemical energy from their surrounding environment. Typically, these structures are fabricated via clean room or template‐based electrodeposition methodologies, which yield relatively low numbers of these devices. To utilize these machines in industrial‐scale operations, one would need an inexpensive fabrication route for mass production of nanomachines. The use of naturally occurring nanotubes, Halloysite nanoclay, to fabricate functional nanomotors in great quantities is demonstrated. These nanotubes can be mined in ton quantities and used as base for the fabrication of nanomachines. In addition, it is well known that the surface groups of Halloysite nanoclay bind strongly with heavy metals, which makes it potentially useful in environmental remediation.

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