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."
"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight."
-- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory