The NanoCar Race is a race where molecular machines compete on a nano-sized track. A NanoCar is a single molecule-car that has wheels and a chassis... and is propelled by a small electric shock.
The race will be invisible to the naked eye: a unique microscope based in Toulouse, France, will make it possible to watch the competition.
The NanoCar race is mostly a fantastic human and scientific adventure that will be broadcast worldwide.
The NanoCar Race track is made of single gold atoms dropped on a gold surface. This track is placed inside a unique scanning tunneling microscope (STM), based at the CNRS Centre d'Elaboration de Matériaux et d'Etudes Structurales (CEMES) in Toulouse.
How does the STM work? A nano-needle screens the surface and applies a small electric shock, revealing the whole track and propelling the NanoCar!
The CEMES STM is the world's only 4-needle microscope that makes it possible to drive 4 NanoCars at the same time.