Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Light-controlled nanomachine controls catalysis: A molecular motor enables the speed of chemical processes to be controlled using light impulses

Prof. Dr. Henry Dube, Chair of Organic Chemistry I (image: LMU/Christoph Olensinski)
Prof. Dr. Henry Dube, Chair of Organic Chemistry I (image: LMU/Christoph Olensinski)

Abstract:
The vision of the future of miniaturisation has produced a series of synthetic molecular motors that are driven by a range of energy sources and can carry out various movements. A research group at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now managed to control a catalysis reaction using a light-controlled motor. This takes us one step closer to realising the vision of a nano factory in which combinations of various machines work together, as is the case in biological cells. The results have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Light-controlled nanomachine controls catalysis: A molecular motor enables the speed of chemical processes to be controlled using light impulses

Nuremberg, Germany | Posted on November 23rd, 2020

Laws of mechanics cannot always be applied

Per definition, a motor converts energy into a specific type of kinetic energy. On a molecular level, for example, the protein myosin can produce muscle contractions using chemical energy. Such nanomachines can now be synthetically produced. However, the molecules used are much smaller than proteins and significantly less complex.

'The laws of mechanical physics cannot simply be applied to the molecular level,' says Prof. Dr. Henry Dube, Chair of Organic Chemistry I at FAU. Inertia, for example, does not exist at this level, he explains. Triggered by Brownian motion, particles are constantly in motion. 'Activating a rotating motor is not enough, you need to incorporate a type of ratchet mechanism that prevents it from turning backwards,' he explains.

In 2015 while at LMU in Munich, Prof. Dube and his team developed a particularly fast molecular motor driven by visible light. In 2018, they developed the first molecular motor that is driven solely by light and functions regardless of the ambient temperature. A year later, they developed a variant capable not only of rotation but also of performing a figure of eight motion. All motors are based on the hemithioindigo molecule, an asymmetric variant of the naturally occurring dye indigo where a sulphur atom takes the place of the nitrogen atom. One part of the molecule rotates in several steps in the opposite direction to the other part of the molecule. The energy-driven steps are triggered by visible light and modify the molecules so that reverse reactions are blocked.

Standard catalysts in use

After coming to FAU, Henry Dube used the rotating motor developed in 2015 to control a separate chemical process for the first time. It moves in four steps around the carbon double bond of the hemithioindigo. Two of the four steps triggered by a photo reaction can be used to control a catalysis reaction. 'Green light generates a molecular structure that binds a catalyst to the hemithioindigo and blue light releases the catalyst,' explains the chemist.

A standard catalyst is used that does not have any metal atoms. Using electrostatic forces, the catalyst docks via a hydrogen bond onto an oxygen atom in the 'motor molecule'. All catalysts that use a hydrogen bond could be used, in principle. 'The great advantage of hemithioindigo is that its innate structure has a bonding mechanism for catalysts,' explains Prof. Dube. It would otherwise have to be added using chemical synthesis.

The rotation of the hemithioindigo motor is controlled by visible light. At the same time, the system allows the targeted release and bonding of a catalyst that accelerates or decelerates desired chemical reactions. 'This project is an important step towards integrating molecular motors in chemical processes simply and in a variety of ways,' says Prof. Dube. 'This will let us synthesise complex medication at a high level of precision using molecular machines like a production line in future.'

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
FAU Press Office

49-913-185-70229

@UniFAU

Copyright © University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Chemistry

New $1.25 million research project will map materials at the nanoscale: The work can lead to new catalysts and other compounds that could be applicable in a range of areas including quantum science, renewable energy, life sciences and sustainability October 28th, 2022

Liquid crystal templated chiral nanomaterials October 14th, 2022

Scientists count electric charges in a single catalyst nanoparticle down to the electron: Tenfold improvement in the sensitivity of electron holography reveals the net charge in a single platinum nanoparticle with a precision of just one electron, providing fundamental informatio October 14th, 2022

Wrapping of nanosize copper cubes can help convert carbon dioxide into other chemicals September 23rd, 2022

Possible Futures

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Molecular Nanotechnology

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Nanotech scientists create world's smallest origami bird March 17th, 2021

Controlling the speed of enzyme motors brings biomedical applications of nanorobots closer: Recent advances in this field have made micro- and nanomotors promising devices for solving many biomedical problems October 13th, 2020

DNA origami to scale-up molecular motors June 13th, 2019

Discoveries

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Announcements

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project