In a demonstration of its kind that could also find itself in the Guinness World Records, E. Charles Sykes from the Tufts University, Boston operated an electric motor made entirely of a single molecule. Measuring just a nanometer in length, according to report in NewScientist, the nano-sized motor has probably more substance that just its size. In the above mentioned demonstration, E.Charles Sykes and his team used asymmetric butyl methyl sulphide, a sulphur atom, complete with a chain of four carbons and a lone carbon atom on either side.
The record breaker.. (Image credit: NewScientist)
The demonstration, an impression of which can be seen in the image above also saw the molecule placed atop a copper base using the sulphur atom. The entire setup resembles a 'propeller', which can rotate freely over the copper – sulphur bond, further stated the report. Right above the molecule, Sykes placed a metal needle at its tip, which roughly was a few atoms wide. The test began when the research team passed current through the needle, leading it down the copper base below, converting the electrical energy to rotational energy, in the process. The energy conversion led to the molecule hopping around 50 times in a second.
This electric motor, in addition to its nano-size is also being touted as a machine that could possibly 'push fluid through nano pipes'.