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A minimal carbonaceous bearing: A fullerene molecule rolls in a finite nanotube molecule

A research group led by Professor Hiroyuki Isobe of Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University has created the world’s smallest carbon nanotube bearing by assembling a fullerene molecule and a finite carbon nanotube molecule. Notably, they produced this molecular bearing in the molar quantity of 1023 molecules, marking a departure of nanotube bearings from single-molecule science to mass-production technology. The anisotropic rolling motion of the central journal with a shaft in the bearing was demonstrated spectroscopically: A motion of a nanometer sized top in the nanotube was confirmed. The spectroscopic analysis also demonstrated that the anisotropic rolling motion is taking place in enormous number of molecules and that the rolling speed was controlled by temperature. The result of this research suggests that, with powerful organic synthesis methods, many dreams of nanotechnology may come true, notably, in quantity.

More information (Japanese)
http://www.tohoku.ac.jp/japanese/newimg/pressimg/tohokuuniv-press20130108_01web.pdf

[Contact]
Professor Hiroyuki Isobe
Department of Chemistry
Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
TEL: +81-22-6585 Fax: +81-22-795-6589
E-mail: isobe*m.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)

Assistant Professor Shunpei Hitosugi
Department of Chemistry
Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
TEL: +81-22-6588 Fax: +81-22-795-6586
E-mail: hitosugi*m.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)

Website of their labolatory: http://www.orgchem2.chem.tohoku.ac.jp/
update: 2013.01.09