Motoring leap of faith

Italian chemists have demonstrated a very simple self-assembling system that dissipates the energy of a constant light source to produce directed motion. In other words, the molecular device acts as a rudimentary light-powered molecular pump; details are described in the journal Nature Nanotechnology by Alberto Credi of the University of Bologna and colleagues. The development of artificial nanomotors is of great significance both to increase our understanding of biological nanomotors and to construct a new generation of ultra-miniaturized devices capable of actively affecting cell mechanisms. The system might also lead to novel solar-energy conversion systems.