A reversible, unidirectional molecular rotary motor driven by chemical energy.

Research paper by Stephen P SP Fletcher, Frédéric F Dumur, Michael M MM Pollard, Ben L BL Feringa

Published on: 08 Oct '05Published in: Science


With the long-term goal of producing nanometer-scale machines, we describe here the unidirectional rotary motion of a synthetic molecular structure fueled by chemical conversions. The basis of the rotation is the movement of a phenyl rotor relative to a naphthyl stator about a single bond axle. The sense of rotation is governed by the choice of chemical reagents that power the motor through four chemically distinct stations. Within the stations, the rotor is held in place by structural features that limit the extent of the rotor's Brownian motion relative to the stator.