Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usFaculty of Science and EngineeringResearchFSE research themesAdvanced MaterialsResearch Topics

Molecular motors and dynamic control

The control of dynamic functions in complex molecular systems, in particular molecular motion, is among the most challenging areas in contemporary nanoscience. The Advanced Materials program plays a leading role in the design of molecular switches, motors and responsive systems and this has resulted since 1999 in major breakthroughs in switching, autonomous movement and rotary motion. Switches have been developed as nanovalves, conductance switch, for control of liquid crystals, patterning of polymers, switching of luminescence, single molecule switching in breakjunction devices, hydrogel drug release system, light-induced disassembly of nano-tubes and switching of antibiotic activity. Autonomous propulsion of carbon nanotubes in a liquid was based on the concerted action of two enzymes; we developed bending and rolling of crystals using light and autonomous translational movement of microparticles using synthetic catalysts. The most important advances that were made include the design of a unidirectional rotary motor. Rotary motion resulted also in autonomous rotation of micro-objects through a molecular motor, the directional movement of electrically driven molecular four– wheel system on a metal surface, and other concepts. A number of these breakthroughs were recognized among the discoveries of the year e.g. American Chemical Society, Chinese Academy of Sciences and enjoyed extensive press coverage.

Last modified:12 April 2019 1.44 p.m.