Defocused imaging of UV-driven surface-bound molecular motors

Bartosz Kranjik, Chen Jiawen, Matthew Watson, Scott Cockroft, Ben Feringa, Johan Hofkens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Synthetic molecular motors continue to attract great interest due to their ability to transduce energy into nanomechanical motion, the potential to do work and drive systems out-of-equilibrium. Of particular interest are unidirectional rotary molecular motors driven by chemical fuel or light. Probing the mechanistic details of their operation at the single-molecule level is hampered by the diffraction limit, which prevents the collection of dynamic positional information by traditional optical methods. Here we use defocused wide-field imaging to examine the unidirectional rotation of individual molecular rotary motors on a quartz surface in unprecedented detail. The sequential occupation of nanomechanical states during the UV and heat-induced cycle of rotation are directly imaged in real-time. The approach will undoubtedly prove important in elucidating the mechanistic details and assessing the utility of novel synthetic molecular motors in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Early online date12 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2017

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