Smarter in 60 Sec­onds: Nan­otech­nol­ogy

iD magazine - - Contents -

The small­est car in the world is made of just a sin­gle mol­e­cule, but it does have four wheels. How­ever therein lies the prob­lem: “So far we haven’t been able to mount the wheels so they will all turn in the same di­rec­tion,” says de­vel­oper Ben Feringa, an or­ganic chem­istry pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Gronin­gen in the Nether­lands. That comes down to chance, so re­search is on­go­ing. The car is pro­pelled by in­di­vid­ual elec­tri­cal pulses of about half a volt, which push the car for­ward 0.7 nanome­ters per pulse— less than the length of the ve­hi­cle.

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