I was asked at dinner tonight about Dr Jim Tour's work on Nanocars by a nonscientist. What I said is that Jim Tour's research on nanocars really highlights how creative minds can envision chemical structures, synthesize them, and then see them in real time because of recent advances in nanotechnology. Dr. Tour takes organic chemistry and makes it interesting by using analogies between nanoscopic molecules and macroscopic things we can see in our everyday life. Nanocars are molecules that have flexible bonds between ring-like structures that can rotate like wheels on a car. Dr. Tour has tested these molecules on various surfaces and used imaging modalities like atomic force microscopy to prove that these molecules do in fact have wheel-like structures that rotate like car tires (he has also synthesized nanoworms or molecules that simply slide across surfaces). What needs to be clarified is that there is not a driver of Dr. Tour's nanocars. These are not nanobots that can be programmed to do a specific function nor can they replicate or be controlled by an outside forces. These nanocars are simply organic molecules that respond to forces like heat and friction to change their conformations (ie. rotate or move) just like any other molecule in the world. It is just that they are synthesized to look like cars and can move across surfaces like roads however they are driven by random thermal energetic forces. They are quite pretty and have an unique ability to engage people in science but just remember, they are molecules that react to physical forces, not magic, not science fiction.

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Welcome! Nanopaprika was cooked up by Hungarian chemistry PhD student in 2007. The main idea was to create something more personal than the other nano networks already on the Internet. Community is open to everyone from post-doctorial researchers and professors to students everywhere.

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Dr. András Paszternák, founder of Nanopaprika

Publications by A. Paszternák:

The potential use of cellophane test strips for the quick determination of food colours

pH and CO2 Sensing by Curcumin-Coloured Cellophane Test Strip

Polymeric Honeycombs Decorated by Nickel Nanoparticles

Directed Deposition of Nickel Nanoparticles Using Self-Assembled Organic Template,

Organometallic deposition of ultrasmooth nanoscale Ni film,

Zigzag-shaped nickel nanowires via organometallic template-free route

Surface analytical characterization of passive iron surface modified by alkyl-phosphonic acid layers

Atomic Force Microscopy Studies of Alkyl-Phosphonate SAMs on Mica

Amorphous iron formation due to low energy heavy ion implantation in evaporated 57Fe thin films

Surface modification of passive iron by alkylphosphonic acid layers

Formation and structure of alkylphosphonic acid layers on passive iron

Structure of the nonionic surfactant triethoxy monooctylether C8E3 adsorbed at the free water surface, as seen from surface tension measurements and Monte Carlo simulations