The first molecular motor has been created that runs on electricity or light.
Developed by Frederick Hawthorne and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles, the tiny motor could power machines on a scale smaller than biological motors such as flagella.

“Given the existence of biological motors, the interest of chemists in designing molecular motors stems from the challenge not only of making even smaller nanomachines that perform controllable motion, but also of creating systems that can be powered with light or electrical energy, rather than depending on the delivery of ATP,” say the researchers.

While much progress has been made in developing nanostructures—objects measured in billionths of a meter—mature nanotechnology would involve the ability to manipulate atoms or molecules with great control.

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