Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular Hula Hoop Nanorotor

Date:
July 23, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Japanese researchers have observed the action of a nanorotor on the molecular scale. They were able to get "snapshots" of individual molecular rotors caught in motion.

Observing rotational motion on the molecular scale.
Credit: Copyright Wiley-VCH

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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Akira Harada et al. Single-Molecule Imaging of Rotaxanes Immobilized on Glass Substrates: Observation of Rotary Movement. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2008, 47, 6077%u20136079 DOI: 10.1002/anie.200801431

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Molecular Hula Hoop Nanorotor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080718112208.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, July 23). Molecular Hula Hoop Nanorotor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080718112208.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Molecular Hula Hoop Nanorotor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080718112208.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins