Nanocar Race 2017: What is the Smallest Car of the World

Published on November 21, 2016

The Swiss Nano Dragster

The Swiss Nanodragster is an organic molecule. In our group in Basel, one of our research focuses is the investigation of organic molecules on different surfaces.

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The Tools – STM and AFM

The Swiss Nanodragster has a size of about 1.5 nm. To see such a small molecule you need very precise tools.

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Driving the Nanocar

As we have shown before there is a tunneling current between tip and sample. You can use this current to inject electric power into the nanocar

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The Track – Preparation of the sample

The track is a gold sample consisting of a perfect single crystal. But you have to clean the race track to be sure that there are only the nanocars and no other molecules from previous measurements.

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The Environment – UHV and LT

UHV stands for Ultra High Vacuum. LT stands for Low Temperature. That means, for the race you have to cool down the microscope to -268°C .

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Nanocar Race Part 1:

The “Nanocar Race” is an event in which molecular machines compete on a nano-sized racetrack. These “Nanocars” or molecule-cars can have real wheels, an actual chassis…and are propelled by the energy of electric pulses! Nothing is visible to the naked eye, however a unique microscope located in Toulouse will make it possible to follow the race. A genuine scientific prowess and international human adventure, the race is a one-off event, and will be broadcast live on the web in spring 2017.

Nanocar Race 2017

The NanoCar Race is an event in which molecular machines compete on a nano-sized racetrack. These “NanoCars” or molecule-cars can have real wheels, an actual chassis…and are propelled by the energy of electric pulses! Nothing is visible to the naked eye, however a unique microscope located in Toulouse will make it possible to follow the race. A genuine scientific prowess and international human adventure, the race is a one-off event, and will be broadcast live on the web, as well as at the Quai des Savoirs, science center in Toulouse.

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