Nanomotor mechanisms and motive force distributions from nanorotor trajectories

Amir Nourhani, Young Moo Byun, Paul E. Lammert, Ali Borhan, Vincent H. Crespi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Nanomotors convert chemical energy into mechanical motion. For a given motor type, the underlying chemical reaction that enables motility is typically well known, but the detailed, quantitative mechanism by which this reaction breaks symmetry and converts chemical energy to mechanical motion is often less clear, since it is difficult experimentally to measure important parameters such as the spatial distribution of chemical species around the nanorotor during operation. Without this information on how motor geometry affects motor function, it is difficult to control and optimize nanomotor behavior. Here we demonstrate how one easily observable characteristic of nanomotor operation - the visible trajectory of a nanorotor - can provide quantitative information about the role of asymmetry in nanomotor operation, as well as insights into the spatial distribution of motive force along the surface of the nanomotor, the motive torques, and the effective diffusional motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062317
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 30 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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