Buckymobile : Nano-Car
Following on from my Buckypaper post a kinetic application for buckminsterfullerene is being developed Researchers at Rice University. Kinetic engineering at the smallest level has led to the construction of a one-molecule car, complete with working chassis, axles, and wheels! A car a little wider than a strand of DNA!
While other groups have created single molecules shaped like automobiles, these have moved by slipping and sliding across a surface. In contrast, the Rice University nanocar has carefully designed carbon-rich sections of the molecule that provide a pivoting suspension and freely rotating axles. Its wheels are hollow spheres composed entirely of buckminsterfullerene Carbon Atoms.
This means that the nanocar functions much like a real automobile, moving forward at an angle of 90 degrees to its axles as its wheels turn.