Achieved by Hebrew University, UCLA scientists
Illustration shows how the “molecular motor” is composed of a molecule made up of two spheres, rotating on a common axis between them. In the double-sphered molecule at right, two carbon atoms (grey) are shown on the left-hand side of both spheres of the molecule. In the molecule at left, the upper sphere of the molecule has rotated counter-clockwise by 144 degrees and locked in position, the result being that the carbon atoms can now be seen in the top sphere on the right-hand side. The other atoms in the illustration are nickel (blue) and hydrogen (pink). The straight bars connecting the atoms represent chemical bonds
A step towards building tiny motors on the scale of a molecule has been demonstrated by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
In an article appearing in the current issue of Science magazine, the researchers from the two institutions described how they were able – through light or electrical stimulation – to cause a molecule to rotate on an axis in a controlled fashion, similar to the action of a motor.
Jerry Barach | Hebrew University
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