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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Buckymobile : Nano-Car

  • On November 9, 2005

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.


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