Nanolocomotion—Catalytic Nanomotors and Nanorotors

Authors

  • Tihana Mirkovic,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto 80 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S 3H6 (Canada)
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  • Nicole S. Zacharia,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Division Texas A&M University, 3123 TAMU, College Station, TX 77840 (USA)
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Division Texas A&M University, 3123 TAMU, College Station, TX 77840 (USA)
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  • Gregory D. Scholes,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto 80 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S 3H6 (Canada)
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  • Geoffrey A. Ozin

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto 80 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S 3H6 (Canada)
    • Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto 80 St. George Street, Toronto, M5S 3H6 (Canada)
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Abstract

Nature's nanomachines, built of dynamically integrated biochemical components, powered by energy-rich biochemical processes, and designed to perform a useful task, have evolved over millions of years. They provide the foundation of all living systems on our planet today. Yet synthetic nanomotors, driven by simple chemical reactions and which could function as building blocks for synthetic nanomachines that can perform useful tasks, have been discovered only in the last few years. Why did it take so long to power-up a myriad of synthetic nanostructures from their well-known static states to new and exciting dynamic ones of the kind that abound in nature? This article will delve into this disconnect between the world of biological and abiological nanomotors, then take a look at some recent developments involving chemically powered nanoscale motors and rotors, and finally try to imagine: what's next for nanolocomotion?

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