Self-propulsion of a metallic superoleophobic micro-boat

Albina Musin, Roman Grynyov, Mark Frenkel, Edward Bormashenko

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23 Scopus citations


The self-propulsion of a heavy, superoleophobic, metallic micro-boat carrying a droplet of various aqueous alcohol solutions as a fuel tank is reported. The micro-boat is driven by the solutocapillary Marangoni flow. The jump in the surface tension owing to the condensation of alcohols on the water surface was established experimentally. Maximal velocities of the self-propulsion were registered as high as 0.05 m/s. The maximal velocity of the center mass of the boat correlates with the maximal change in the surface tension, due to the condensation of alcohols. The mechanism of the self-locomotion is discussed. The phenomenological dynamic model describing the self-propulsion is reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Marangoni flow
  • Self-propulsion
  • Superoleophobic boat
  • Surface tension


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