MAY 24, 2018 11:26 AM PDT
The Rise of Molecular Machines
3 1 84

From the early theoretical framework laid down by famed physicist Richard Feynman, to the inaugural paper titled "Molecular Engineering: An Approach to the Development of General Capabilities for Molecular Manipulation" by Eric Drexler the nanotech pioneer, and eventually the Nobel recognition to the three molecular machine musketeers Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa, the idea of constructing miniature devices at the molecular level that can mimic functions at the macroscopic world has come a long, long way.

In 2011, a nanosized "car" made out of small molecules took the world by storm. The nanocar, developed by  Bernard Feringa's group at the University of Groningen, is a molecule-sized four wheeler powered by his own design of molecular motor. It can drive across a copper surface under the manipulation of an electrical current. Since then many other molecular machines have been built to perform a diverse range of mechanical works, such as a nanosized assembling arm that rotates on its axil and picks up a small molecule, a molecular motor-powered pump that pumps solute component, and a rotary molecule that winds polymer chains.

The field of molecular machines has yet reached its maturity, despite numerous progress has been made over the last decade. Commenting on where the field is heading towards, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart said: "We’re on a very early part of a very steep learning curve. Chemistry is a fundamental science and it needs some space in which to develop the fundamentals. It’s going to be a slow process and it may take decades to develop the field to a stage where it’s applied to whatever the technology of the day is, but then suddenly it will take off, and people will see what all that fundamental development can lead to."

Source: SciShow via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
FEB 15, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 15, 2018
Astrophysical X-rays Source Inspires New Theory Of Dark Matter
In a recent paper, astrophysicists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has come up with a new hypothesis of what is dark matter made of, and their
MAR 05, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
MAR 05, 2018
Super-sized Molecule Made Out of Extremely Cold Atoms
If ordinary atoms can be described as individuals living in their own apartments of well-defined dimensions, then Rydberg polarons, a bizarre collection of
APR 13, 2018
Technology
APR 13, 2018
Tiny Chip Under Skin Measures Blood Alcohol Level
"The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a routine, unobtrusive alcohol and drug monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs," Hall said.
APR 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
APR 13, 2018
Neutrinos, the "Hot" Dark Matter?
When it comes to dark matter, the elusive existence that is supposed to make up 80% of all matter-energy in the universe, scientists have been scratching t
MAY 22, 2018
Technology
MAY 22, 2018
Tiniest House Ever Can Be Built on Strand of Hair
A French robotics team has built a micro-house to demonstrate their new nanotechnology prowess and a system called the μRobotex nanofactory.
JUN 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUN 01, 2018
A Quantum Computing Component that Reverses Time?!
A group of physicists and computing scientists from Australia and Switzerland has come with a theoretical model for building a quantum computing device tha
Loading Comments...