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One-molecule nanocar takes a test drive

MrSeb (471333) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 0

MrSeb writes "Just a couple of months after nanoengineers at Tufts University developed an 18-atom single-molecule electric motor, researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have gone one better: They’ve made a car, and again using just a single molecule. To create the vehicle, Tibor Kudernac and colleagues crafted a molecule with a long body and four “paddle” (wheel) features attached at each corner. The molecule was created with a bottom-up process, where each part of the molecule is gently slotted together. By applying tiny amounts of electricity with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to the finished vehicle, the wheels are forced to make a quarter turn. The wheels naturally take another quarter turn to restore equilibrium — and then the STM starts the process all over again. The end result is very slow forward movement — six nanometers per 10 electric pulses."
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