The molecular motor was produced when a butyl methyl sulfide molecule had been placed on a conductive copper surface and given an electrical charge. This sulfur-containing molecule had carbon and hydrogen atoms radiating off to form what looked like two arms, with four carbons on one side and one on the other. These carbon chains were free to rotate around the sulfur-copper bond.
The team determined that by controlling the temperature of the molecule they could directly impact the rotation of the molecule. Temperatures around 5 K, or about -450ºF, proved to be the ideal to track the motor's motion. The motor spins much faster at higher temperatures
Heather L. Tierney, Colin J. Murphy, April D. Jewell, Ashleigh E. Baber, Erin V. Iski, Harout Y. Khodaverdian, Allister F. McGuire, Nikolai Klebanov, E. Charles H. Sykes. Experimental demonstration of a single-molecule electric motor. Nature Nanotechnology, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2011.142
SI Unit Conversions
Molecular Mass (formula weight) Calculations
Empirical and Molecular Formula
- Convert 200 nanometers to a diameter in
- Form the information in the article above:
- What is the diameter of a human hair in nanometers?
- What is the size ratio of the molecular motor to a human hair?
- Convert the following temperatures:
- 5K to oC
- 0K to oC
- 100oC to K
- 25oC to K
- On the molecular structure of butyl methyl sulfide:
- identify the butyl group
- identify the methyl group
- For a molecule of butyl methyl sulfide:
- write the molecular formula
- give the empirical formula
- calculate the molecular mass
- calculate the percentage composition
- Is butyl methyl sulfide a polar or non-polar molecule? Explain your answer.
- Do you expect butyl methyl sulfide to be water soluble? Explain your answer.