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A triptycene wheeled dimeric molecule [link] was also synthesized for studying rolling motion under STM. This "tripod-like" triptycene wheel ulike a ball like C 60 molecule also demonstrated a rolling motion on the surface. The two triptycene units were connected via a dialkynyl axle, for both desired molecule orientation sitting on surface and directional preference of the rolling motion. STM controlling and imaging was demonstrated, including the mechanism [link] .

Scheme of the rolling mechanism (left to right). Step 1 is the tip approach towards the molecule, step 2 is a 120 degree rotation of a wheel around its molecular axle and in step 3 the tip reaches the other side of the molecule. It shows that, in principle, only one rotation of a wheel can be induced (the direction of movement is marked by arrows).

Single molecule nanocar under stm imaging

Another use of STM imaging at single molecule imaging is the single molecule nanocar by the Tour group at Rice University. The concept of a nanocar initially employed the free rotation of a C-C single bond between a spherical C 60 molecule and an alkyne, [link] . Based on this concept, an “axle” can be designed into which are mounted C 60 “wheels” connected with a “chassis” to construct the “nanocar”. Nanocars with this design are expected to have a directional movement perpendicular to the axle. Unfortunately, the first generation nanocar (named “nanotruck” [link] ) encountered some difficulties in STM imaging due to its chemical instability and insolubility. Therefore, a new of design of nanocar based on OPE has been synthesized [link] .

Structure of C 60 wheels connecting to an alkyne. The only possible rolling direction is perpendicular to the C-C single bond between C 60 and the alkyne. The arrow indicates the rotational motion of C 60 .
Structure of the nanotruck. No rolling motion was observed under STM imaging due to its instability, insolubility and inseparable unreacted C 60 .The double head arrow indicates the expected direction of nanocar movement. Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, Y. Yao, L. Saudan, H. Yang, Y.-H. Chiu, L. B. Alemany, T. Sasaki, J.-F. Morin, J. M. Guerrero, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2006, 128 , 4854. Copyright American Chemical Society (2006).
Nanocar based on OPE structure. The size of the nanocar is 3.3 nm X 2.1 nm (W x L). Alkoxy chains were attached to improve solubility and stability. OPE moiety is also separable from C 60 . The bold double head arrow indicates the expected direction of nanocar movement. The dimension of nanocar was 3.3 nm X 2.1 nm which enable direct observation of the orientation under STM imaging. Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, Nano Lett. , 2005, 5 , 2330. Copyright American Chemical Society (2005).

The newly designed nanocar was studied with STM. When the nanocar was heated to ~200 °C, noticeable displacements of the nanocar were observed under selected images from a 10 min STM experiment [link] . The phenomenon that the nanocar moved only at high temperature was attributed their stability to a relatively strong adhesion force between the fullerene wheels and the underlying gold. The series of images showed both pivotal and translational motions on the surfaces.

Pivotal and translational movement of OPE based nanocar. Acquisition time of one image is approximately 1 min with (a – e) images were selected from a series spanning 10 min. The configuration of the nanocar on surface can be determined by the distances of four wheels. a) – b) indicated the nanocar had made a 80° pivotal motion. b) – e) indicated translation interrupted by small-angle pivot perturbations. Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, Nano Lett. , 2005, 5 , 2330. Copyright American Chemical Society (2005).

Although literature studies suggested that the C 60 molecule rolls on the surface, in the nanocar movement studies it is still not possible to conclusively conclude that the nanocar moves on surface exclusively via a rolling mechanism. Hopping, sliding and other moving modes could also be responsible for the movement of the nanocar since the experiment was carried out at high temperature conditions, making the C 60 molecules more energetic to overcome interactions between surfaces.

To tackle the question of the mode of translation, a trimeric “nano-tricycle” has been synthesized. If the movement of fullerene-wheeled nanocar was based on a hopping or sliding mechanism, the trimer should give observable translational motions like the four-wheeled nanocar, however, if rolling is the operable motion then the nano-tricycle should rotate on an axis, but not translate across the surface. The result of the imaging experiment of the trimer at ~200 °C ( [link] ,) yielded very small and insignificant translational displacements in comparison to 4-wheel nanocar ( [link] ). The trimeric 3-wheel nanocar showed some pivoting motions in the images. This motion type can be attributed to the directional preferences of the wheels mounted on the trimer causing the car to rotate. All the experimental results suggested that a C 60 -based nanocar moves via a rolling motion rather than hopping and sliding. In addition, the fact that the thermally driven nanocar only moves in high temperature also suggests that four C 60 have very strong interactions to the surface.

Pivot motion of the trimer. a) - d) Pivot motions of circled trimered were shown in the series of images. No significant translation were observed in comparison to the nanocar. Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, Nano Lett. , 2005, 5 , 2330. Copyright American Chemical Society (2005).


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  • Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, Nano Lett. , 2005, 5 , 2330.
  • Y. Shirai, A. J. Osgood, Y. Zhao, Y. Yao, L. Saudan, H. Yang, Y.-H. Chiu, L. B. Alemany, T. Sasaki, J.-F. Morin, J. M. Guerrero, K. F. Kelly, and J. M. Tour, J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2006, 128 , 4854.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how to find Rutherford scattering parameters angles
saksham Reply
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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