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

Daikin Industries becomes OCSiAl shareholder July 27th, 2021

The National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos for the Spectacular First Crewed Flight of the New Shepard: Well-Tested Suborbital Tourist Rocket Soars to 63 Miles; Opens New Frontiers July 21st, 2021

Unconventional superconductor acts the part of a promising quantum computing platform: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. July 16th, 2021

Unlocking efficient light-energy conversion with stable coordination nanosheets: Scientists design a high-performance, self-powered, UV photodetector using 2D nanosheets that show record photocurrent stability under air exposure July 16th, 2021

Primers with graphene nanotubes offer a new solution for electrostatic painting of automotive parts July 16th, 2021

Chemistry

RUDN University chemists obtained an unusual planar nickel complex exhibiting magnetic properties July 16th, 2021

Emergence of a new heteronanostructure library May 14th, 2021

Researchers analyzed circulating currents inside gold nanoparticles: A new method facilitates accurate analysis of magnetic field effects inside complex nanostructures April 30th, 2021

Possible Futures

Daikin Industries becomes OCSiAl shareholder July 27th, 2021

The National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos for the Spectacular First Crewed Flight of the New Shepard: Well-Tested Suborbital Tourist Rocket Soars to 63 Miles; Opens New Frontiers July 21st, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Researchers discover a new inorganic material with lowest thermal conductivity ever reported July 16th, 2021

Molecular Nanotechnology

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

Big energy savings for tiny machines May 24th, 2019

Discoveries

Repairs using light signals: FAU research group develops smart microparticle that identifies defective parts in electrical appliances July 16th, 2021

Removing the lead hazard from perovskite solar cells July 16th, 2021

Scientists create rechargeable swimming microrobots using oil and water July 16th, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Announcements

Daikin Industries becomes OCSiAl shareholder July 27th, 2021

The National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos for the Spectacular First Crewed Flight of the New Shepard: Well-Tested Suborbital Tourist Rocket Soars to 63 Miles; Opens New Frontiers July 21st, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Researchers discover a new inorganic material with lowest thermal conductivity ever reported July 16th, 2021

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

RUDN University chemists obtained an unusual planar nickel complex exhibiting magnetic properties July 16th, 2021

Repairs using light signals: FAU research group develops smart microparticle that identifies defective parts in electrical appliances July 16th, 2021

Scientists create rechargeable swimming microrobots using oil and water July 16th, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

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