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Science

One-Molecule Nanocar Takes a Test Drive 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-a-spin-around-the-pin dept.
MrSeb writes "Just a couple of months after nanoengineers at Tufts University developed an 18-atom single-molecule electric motor, researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands have gone one better: They've made a car using just a single molecule. To create the vehicle, Tibor Kudernac and colleagues crafted a molecule with a long body and four 'paddle' (wheel) features attached at each corner. The molecule was created with a bottom-up process, where each part of the molecule is gently slotted together. By applying tiny amounts of electricity with a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to the finished vehicle, the wheels are forced to make a quarter turn. The wheels naturally take another quarter turn to restore equilibrium — and then the STM starts the process all over again. The end result is very slow forward movement — six nanometers per 10 electric pulses."
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One-Molecule Nanocar Takes a Test Drive

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Electric cars are a fad. Jeremy Clarkson told me that.

  • Single molecule nano hover car?

  • ...for really short people.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      ...for really short people.

      Expecting the Monday follow-up "Nano People" article? That woule really excite some people.

      Tuft's University also introduced the first nano car program for public safety - the Nano Tufty Club

      • mechanically it'd be doable. I don't think so much on the DNA or neural level. How much of the so-called "junk" DNA is actually junk? Just the bits that haven't been patented yet? As for nervous tissue: it is estimated that less than 4% of the brain is actually used in the most genius of us, but what of the rest? What is it actually used for if not mechanical control, thought processes, storage, etc? We just don't know, ergo we don't know how much we can prune before we make the transition from Homo sapiens

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The thing with 4% (7%,8%,9%,10%) brain usage is a 70's myth.

  • Attach a three atom knife to it with a suture gadget and send right into the heart for a by-pass
    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      Might be a little hard to fit the STM in there too.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      Attach a three atom knife to it with a suture gadget and send right into the heart for a by-pass

      While the car may be small, the means to control it may be considerably larger (still no problem for even the tiniest capillary) but what are the body's defences to make of these tiny hoards roving aroun inside you?

    • by jamiesan (715069)

      And then two, 4 atom machine guns, and we can have Micro Death Race 2100!

      It's euthanasia day in the Lymph nodes!

  • Nature letter (Score:4, Informative)

    by polymeris (902231) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:36PM (#38005846)

    I think this is the actual article [nature.com](paywalled), in case anyone else is wondering about the details & has access to the journal.

  • to fund this little gem. Let's see. It used 7 Kilowatts to build (all of the power consumed in the labs) and a team of expensive researcher months to figure out. Should be the most expensive car per ounce ever built. Hey, Feds, send over our borrowed money to lend to these guys. This could be the next big wave in green technology....it runs on electricity, right?
  • This is one of the least offensive sketches from Jam but it still contains bad language and is NSFW.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzquCGpuIsQ [youtube.com]

    The actual show is probably Not Safe for Decent People but is awesome if you have a deviant sense of humor and can find a suitable time to laugh.

  • You mean they make a cool high tech nanocar but you still have to get out and push?

    Bummer!

  • ...six nanometers per 10 electric pulses.

    "You're driving like a bat out of Hades! You're gonna get us all killed!"

  • Sounds faster and more powerful than a Prius although seating may be difficult.
  • Come on, at one cell organism, it must have been shaped like a car, to come up with that crappy headline....seriously?

  • I'm not going to get excited about this until I see it reviewed on Top Gear. I bet the Stig could get it up to at least 9 nanometers per 10 electric pulses.

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