Guest Article by Dominik Margraf
Even though this publication in JACS is a little older (actually from 2006), it is one of my favorite articles of all times. And as we are already discussing rather strange contributions to the nano-world (see Toxicity of Nanomaterials) this fits quite well. Kelly et al. at Rice University made quite an effort in order to synthesize a molecular car. These nanovehicles are composed of three basic components that include spherical fullerene wheels, freely rotating alkynyl axles, and a molecular chassis. The use of spherical wheels based on C60, better known as Buckyballs, and freely rotating axles based on alkynes permits directed nanoscale rolling of the molecular structure on gold surfaces.
Seems like chemistry still is a playground for grown adults and one is never to old for matchbox cars… (I told you, Mum!) EuCheMS 2010 nanoparticle symposia will surely provide an excellent mixture of such science and fun.