Molecular machines: nanomotor rotates microscale objects.

Research paper by Rienk R Eelkema, Michael M MM Pollard, Javier J Vicario, Nathalie N Katsonis, Blanca Serrano BS Ramon, Cees W M CW Bastiaansen, Dirk J DJ Broer, Ben L BL Feringa

Indexed on: 10 Mar '06Published on: 10 Mar '06Published in: Nature


Nanomachines of the future will require molecular-scale motors that can perform work and collectively induce controlled motion of much larger objects. We have designed a synthetic, light-driven molecular motor that is embedded in a liquid-crystal film and can rotate objects placed on the film that exceed the size of the motor molecule by a factor of 10,000. The changes in shape of the motor during the rotary steps cause a remarkable rotational reorganization of the liquid-crystal film and its surface relief, which ultimately causes the rotation of submillimetre-sized particles on the film.