The smallest car in the world consists of a single molecule. The tiny vehicle is only about a billionth meter (nanometer) long and is driven electrically, as the developers around ben feringa from the universitat groningen (netherlands) in the british manifold nature to report. The nano-electric car has even four-wheel drive.
While it is not the first artificially powered molecule, but the first one that is directed from their own power to move over a surface, it is called in an accompanying comment in nature. The researchers see their design as a further step towards the development of nanomases, which could perform course on the molecular scales work.
For their nano-electric car mounted ben feringa and his colleagues four more previously developed molecular engines to a central carrier. The motors take over the role of the drive roller. However, the researchers have not found no way to assemble all drive wheels reliably in a specific direction of rotation in production. Therefore, by trying to find such nano-cars, who actually go out.
In order to move the moving molecule in motion, it is supplied from above the tip of a raster tunneling microscope with power. A short voltage pulse of half a volton requests the configuration of the molecular motors. Turn all in the same direction, the nano-car should prardy around 0.7 nanometers. The researchers love their molecular four-wheel electric vehicle in this way with ten pulses about six nanometers far over a copper surface. Show that this car was almost ideal straight ahead, write.