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A nanomechanical device based on linear molecular motors

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10 Author(s)
Huang, Po-Hsun ; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and the Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration, University of California, 420 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095 ; Brough, Branden ; Chih-Ming Ho ; Liu, Yi
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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.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:85 ,  Issue: 22 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 2004

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