November 30, 2016 at 10:26 am

The Ohio Bobcat Nano-wagon Team Reaches a Milestone

The Ohio Bobcat Nano-wagon team reached a milestone in June 2016 when the group of Dr. Eric Masson, Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, completed the synthesis of the nanocar that will compete in the first-ever race of molecular cars in Toulouse, France, end of April 2017.

Bobcat Nano-wagon, a molecular "car"

Bobcat Nano-wagon

Graduate students Mersad Raeisi, Kondalarao Kotturi, Ramin Rabbani and post-doctoral associate Dr. Karthikeyan Perumal managed to synthesize a rigid organic H-shaped frame, which self-assembled into the car upon addition of the 4 Cucurbituril wheels in water. (See figure below; Cucurbiturils are hollow pumpkin- or wheel-shaped molecules.)

nanocar with terph shft


Masson explains that the organic frame is insoluble in water, yet upon addition of the four wheels, the car dissolves nicely. Despite the complexity of the car and its heavy molecular weight (5733 g/mol), its 1H NMR spectrum is remarkably simple and pristine due the high symmetry of the assembly.

The design and synthesis of the car has been recently highlighted in Chemistry World, a well-known chemistry news magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom.

The group of Dr. Saw Hla, Professor of Physics & Astronomy, is now working hard to deposit the car on a gold surface—and drive it on the surface using the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM).

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *