Molecular, supramolecular, and macromolecular motors and artificial muscles

Dongbo Li, Walter F. Paxton, Ray H. Baughman, Tony Jun Huang, J. Fraser Stoddart, Paul S. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Recent developments in chemical synthesis, nanoscale assembly, and molecularscale measurements enable the extension of the concept of macroscopic machines to the molecular and supramolecular levels. Molecular machines are capable of performing mechanical movements in response to external stimuli. They offer the potential to couple electrical or other forms of energy to mechanical action at the nano- and molecular scales. Working hierarchically and in concert, they can form actuators referred to as artificial muscles, in analogy to biological systems. We describe the principles behind driven motion and assembly at the molecular scale and recent advances in the field of molecular-level electromechanical machines, molecular motors, and artificial muscles. We discuss the challenges and successes in making these assemblies work cooperatively to function at larger scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-681
Number of pages11
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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