A new type of nanomotors operating from visible light is obtained.

    The procedure for obtaining the molecule

    German scientists from the University of Munich Ludwig-Maximilian created the first nanomotor , the energy source for which is visible sunlight. The motor operates at a frequency of 1 kHz and today is the fastest motor of those that are powered by light energy.

    In the 21st century, nanotechnology is developing very rapidly. One of the tasks of these technologies is the production of nanomotors, molecular-sized devices that can convert the energy supplied to them into mechanical motion. In the future, these motors will be able to participate in the assembly processes of devices and materials with unique properties that are not available with the current development of technology.

    Over the past ten years, nanomotors operating from chemical power sources, from electricity and from light have been obtained in laboratories . True, the previous "models" of motors required ultraviolet radiation. The tasks of applying nanotechnology in everyday life require less high-energy sources of energy - for example, the visible part of sunlight.

    “The light-activated molecular motors described so far have used ultraviolet light as their energy source,” explains Dr. Henry Dube of the University’s chemistry lab. “But this greatly limits the possibilities of their application, since high-energy photons are dangerous for nanomachines in general.”

    In his workScientists have described how the nanomotor they obtained works. The three-dimensional structure of a molecule changes when its components begin to interact with photons. The hemithioindigo molecule obtained by scientists is essentially a photo switch made of two organic molecules bonded by a double carbon bond. Under the influence of light, the molecule begins to rotate around this ligament.

    Despite the fact that the molecule requires photons with lower energy to rotate, it rotates extremely quickly - about 1000 times per second at room temperature.

    “We ourselves were very surprised by such a high-quality operation of our motor, since many molecular motors do not differ in stable rotation in one direction, but sometimes they turn in the other,” said Dube. “Given the complexity of the procedure for producing such a molecule, it is surprising that we achieved such good results the first time.”

    Although, of course, it’s still far from useful working mechanisms the size of a molecule. It is necessary to develop simple procedures for obtaining such motors, integrating them into mechanisms and overcome many other technical difficulties.

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