A nanomechanical device based on linear molecular motors

Tony Jun Huang, Branden Brough, Chih Ming Ho*, Yi Liu, Amar H. Flood, Paul A. Bonvallet, Hsian Rong Tseng, J. Fraser Stoddart, Marko Baller, Sergei Magonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Pages (from-to)5391-5393
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 29 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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