The American-Austrian NanoPrix Team has not yet selected the final racing molecule. They are still optimizing. Anyway, the strategy adopted is to propel the Dipolar Racer across a metal surface by virtue of the interaction between its dipole and the electric field present in the tunnel junction of a scanning tunneling microscope.
The Dipolar Racer is built using low adhesion molecular wheels, alkynyl axles, aryl chassis, and dipolar functionalities front and rear. Sonogashira cross coupling reactions are used to accomplish the assembly.
It contains all parts of a car: Wheels, axles, chassis and - in particular - a dipolar unit to facilitate directional motion.
This has grown out of almost two decades in NanoCar research, so we have finally reached the point of competition.
This is an exciting time for nanotechnology and it represents the first of its kind to have nanotechnologies directly competing head-to-head. It is an exciting day for science and nanotechnology in particular that motivates us to improve the performance of our NanoCar.
Test and characterize further NanoCars, potentially light-driven structures.