The total size of the car is only one molecule, making it invisible to the human eye.
You may be expecting theworld’s tiniest car to be extremely cramped with limited legroom, you’re thinking too big. Go smaller. (Pics)
Scientists in the Netherlands developed a car that is the size of a single molecule, which can only be viewed under spectacularly small lens.
Given that it is so small, the only real ways that it has any visual similarities to a car is that it has four wheels and a bare-bones internal framework.
The car is powered by electrical pulses that respond to millivolts of energy. For every half-turn of its wheels, the car needed another jolt of energy.
Because of its high energy requirements and minuscule size, it’s no surprise that the first journey was only six nanometres.
Even though the actual size of the project may be smaller than the average human eye, it is a massive breakthrough for scientists in the field of nanotechnology.
The creators argue that while you may not see these little speed demons tearing down highways anytime soon, the research behind it will likely effect other fields in years to come.
The fact that the molecule was able to take external electrical energy and use it to move itself is scientifically significant.
‘To build the nanotechnology of the future like nano robots, machines and transporters you need something to fuel it,’ said Ben Feringa, an organic chemistry professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and one of the scientists involved with the project.
The cars have the barest version of a chassis and four wheels that turn as electric waves are directed at the molecule.
‘There is a great incentive to build motors at the nano scale…. There are many nano systems build from all kinds of materials, but this is, as far as we can tell, the first time a nano motor has been used to propel something by fueling it,’ Mr Ferniga continued.
The Dutch product was the first to bring a car into the mini-sphere.
University of California-Berkley professor Alex Zettl was the first to make the world’s smallest synthetic motor, and James Tour made the first nano car- without a motor- in 2005, but the Dutch discovery is the first to put theories from both discoveries together to make something that at least resembles a car that moves.
In the most recent experiment, the scientists blasted energy into the molecule by using a microscope with an atom-sized object directing the energy towards the car.
James Tour’s first nano car shows the complexity of the mini vehicles.
‘It’s very difficult t know where the future will go and ultimately the systems will be different,’ Mr Ferniga said.
‘But you have to find the fundamental principles. That makes things possible,’ he continued.
Via Daily Mail