Published on: 20 Mar '04Published in: Science
We report the incrementally staged design, synthesis, characterization, and operation of a molecular machine that behaves like a nanoscale elevator. The operation of this device, which is made of a platformlike component interlocked with a trifurcated riglike component and is only 3.5 nanometers by 2.5 nanometers in size, relies on the integration of several structural and functional molecular subunits. This molecular elevator is considerably more complex and better organized than previously reported artificial molecular machines. It exhibits a clear-cut on-off reversible behavior, and it could develop forces up to around 200 piconewtons.