Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular Hula Hoop

17.07.2008
Spinning motion of a molecular rotor detected

Humans have long been trying to make the dream of nanoscopic robots come true. The dream is, in fact, taking on some aspects of reality. Nanoscience has produced components for molecular-scale machines.

One such device is a rotor, a movable component that rotates around an axis. Trying to observe such rotational motion on the molecular scale is an extremely difficult undertaking.

Japanese researchers at the Universities of Osaka and Kyoto have now met this challenge. As Akira Harada and his team report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they were able to get “snapshots” of individual molecular rotors caught in motion.

... more about:
»Molecular »Motion »pattern »rotaxane

As the subject of their study the researchers chose a rotaxane. This is a two-part molecular system: A rod-shaped molecule is threaded by a second, ring-shaped molecule like a cuff while a stopper at the end of the rod prevents the ring from coming off.

The researchers attached one end of the rod to a glass support. To observe the rotational motions of the cuff around the sleeve, the scientists attached a fluorescing side chain to the cuff as a probe.

To observe the rotation of the ring around the rod, the researchers used a microscopic technique called defocused wide-field total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. This gave snapshots of individual rotaxane molecules in the form of emission patterns. In simplified terms, if the cuff is motionless, the patterns make it possible to calculate the direction in which the probe emits its fluorescent light.

This makes it possible to calculate the orientation of the cuff, which remains constant for every snapshot. However, if the cuff is rotating, the emission pattern does not reveal the spatial orientation of the probe.

The researchers showed that the cuff of the rotaxane does not rotate if the sample is dry. However, when it is wet they can see very rapid rotational and vibrational motion. The cuff rotates faster than the time required to snap a picture: the rotational speed is thus over 360° in 300 milliseconds.

Author: Akira Harada, Osaka University (Japan), http://www.chem.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp/lab/harada/Eng/mem/Lab-m11e.htm

Title: Single-Molecule Imaging of Rotaxanes Immobilized on Glass Substrates: Observation of Rotary Movement

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, No. 32, 6077–6079, doi: 10.1002/anie.200801431

Akira Harada | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.chem.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp/lab/harada/Eng/mem/Lab-m11e.htm

Further reports about: Molecular Motion pattern rotaxane

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Hopkins researchers ID neurotransmitter that helps cancers progress
25.04.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Trigger region found for absence epileptic seizures
25.04.2019 | RIKEN

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Full speed ahead for SmartEEs at Automotive Interiors Expo 2019

Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.

It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: New insights into tin selenide

25.04.2019 | Materials Sciences

Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks

25.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Using DNA templates to harness the sun's energy

25.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>