Controlling nanomotors with light
Engineers at the University of Texas Austin have found a way to change the mechanical motion of nanomotors with multiple modes using light.
By varying the intensity and frequency of light radiation, the researchers were able to change the behavior of nanodevices. The principle of operation of the simplest tiny electric motors looks like a fan, but they function like transistors, responding to external influences. Tests were carried out with various metals and semiconductors, observing their mechanical movement when the nanomotors were irradiated in an aqueous solution..
Scientists have found that depending on the intensity of the incoming light (from the level of the projector to the laser), the silicon device can be set in motion, stopped, or made to rotate in the opposite direction. This effect was observed for the first time. Thanks to the ability to convert energy into motion, nanomotors can be used to create controlled nanoelectromechanical devices and robotics for drug delivery, optical recognition, communication, interaction with molecules, separation of individual nanoparticles and other purposes..
Australian researchers have also discovered amazing properties of the simplest nanostructures. They have created a nanofilter that is capable of removing heavy metals and oily substances from water 100 times faster than any other existing technology..
text: Sid Nietzsche, photo and video: University of Texas at Austin