Chemicals in a spin

Molecules that can act as rotors could be the key to making sub-microscopic machines, according to nanotechnologists. Now, John Gladysz and colleagues at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nurenberg have developed a new type of molecular rotor that resembles a toy gyroscope. The researchers used a relatively simple synthetic technique to build their rotor constructing a fixed fastening unit and a rotating component. The rotating axis spins within a fixed housing consisting of three circular spokes. The rotor could be set spinning by an electric field mimicking the almost frictionless spin of a gyroscope.