Nanolocomotion - Catalytic nanomotors and nanorotors

Tihana Mirkovic, Nicole S. Zacharia, Gregory D. Scholes, Geoffrey A. Ozin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Nature's nanomachines, built of dynamically integrated biochemical components, powered by energy-rich biochemical processes, and designed to perform a useful task, have evolved over millions of years. They provide the foundation of all living systems on our planet today. Yet synthetic nanomotors, driven by simple chemical reactions and which could function as building blocks for synthetic nanomachines that can perform useful tasks, have been discovered only in the last few years. Why did it take so long to power-up a myriad of synthetic nanostructures from their well-known static states to new and exciting dynamic ones of the kind that abound in nature? This article will delve into this disconnect between the world of biological and abiological nanomotors, then take a look at some recent developments involving chemically powered nanoscale motors and rotors, and finally try to imagine: what's next for nanolocomotion?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 18 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomaterials


  • Catalytic propulsion
  • Nanolocomotion
  • Nanomotors
  • Nanorotors


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