A nanomechanical device based on linear molecular motors

Huang, Tony Jun; Brough, Branden; Chih-Ming Ho; Yi Liu; Flood, Amar H.; Bonvallet, Paul A.; Hsian-Rong Tseng; Stoddart, J. Fraser; Baller, Marko; Magonov, Sergei
November 2004
Applied Physics Letters;11/29/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 22, p5391
Academic Journal
An array of microcantilever beams, coated with a self-assembled monolayer of bistable, redox-controllable [3]rotaxane molecules, undergoes controllable and reversible bending when it is exposed to chemical oxidants and reductants. Conversely, beams that are coated with a redox-active but mechanically inert control compound do not display the same bending. A series of control experiments and rational assessments preclude the influence of heat, photothermal effects, and pH variation as potential mechanisms of beam bending. Along with a simple calculation from a force balance diagram, these observations support the hypothesis that the cumulative nanoscale movements within surface-bound “molecular muscles” can be harnessed to perform larger-scale mechanical work.


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