The participants in the NanoCar Race, initially scheduled for 14-15 October 2016, have agreed to postpone the event in order to give enough time for the teams to prepare and for the microscope to be optimized. This postponement is essential to make the event a true « sports-science » challenge.
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.
The racetrack, a plain gold surface, is placed inside a one of a kind scanning tunneling microscope at the CNRS's Centre d'élaboration de matériaux et d'études structurales (CEMES) in Toulouse.
No magnifying glass is to be found in this instrument; rather, with the help of a small electric current, a small tip screens the surface where the track and map are located. Small electric pulses supply energy to the NanoCar!
The microscope in Toulouse is novel in that it is the only one in the world that has four independently controllable tips, enabling four teams to compete simultaneously.