Brief Communications

Nature 440, 163 (9 March 2006) | doi:10.1038/440163a; Received 8 September 2005; Accepted 1 February 2006; Published online 8 March 2006

Molecular machines: Nanomotor rotates microscale objects

Rienk Eelkema1, Michael M. Pollard1, Javier Vicario1, Nathalie Katsonis1, Blanca Serrano Ramon2, Cees W. M. Bastiaansen2, Dirk J. Broer2,3 and Ben L. Feringa1

Nanomachines of the future will require molecular-scale motors1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 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.

  1. Department of Organic and Molecular Inorganic Chemistry, Stratingh Institute, University of Groningen, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. Department of Polymer Technology, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  3. Philips Research Laboratories, Department of Biomolecular Engineering, High Tech Campus 4, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands

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