The Pennsylvania State University

The Sen Group

Nanotechnology, nanomotor, and nanopump research at Penn State

Platinum motors rotate in hydrogen peroxide. The rate and direction of rotation are functions of motor shape (Brooks et al. 2019).
Enzymes along a metabolic pathway in which the product of one is the substrate for the next tend to associate through a process of sequential, directed chemotactic movement. The extent of enzyme migration is proportional to the exposure time to the substrate gradient (Zhao et al. 2017).
Using optical microscopy and FFT analysis, the Sen and Crespi groups demonstrate that reactions with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide cause oscillations in the size of clusters of silver orthophosphate microparticles. Furthermore, these oscillation frequencies can be tuned by varying the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This result has applications in stimuli-responsive materials and information processing (Altemose et al. 2017).
We showed the chemotactic movement of molecular dyes up the gradient of polymer solutions through mutual hydrophobic interaction (Guha et al. 2017).


Research Interests

Catalytic Nanomotors Self-Powered Micropumps

Generating chemically-powered motion at the nano- and microscales

We have shown that catalytically active nano- and microscale objects are able to convert chemical energy to mechanical work. These nanostructures can therefore move on their own, or when immobilized, act as fluid pumps. We aim to create a new paradigm for molecular-level engineering of functional materials… Read More
Dr. Ayusman Sen

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ayusman Sen

Verne M. Willaman Professor of Chemistry

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

Read Dr. Sen's Full Bio