A walking molecule, so small that it cannot be observed directly with a microscope, has been recorded taking its first nanometre-sized steps.
It's the first time that anyone has shown in real time that such a tiny object – termed a 'small molecule walker' – has taken a series of steps. The breakthrough, made by Oxford University chemists, is a significant milestone on the long road towards developing 'nanorobots'.
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Ref: Continuous observation of the stochastic motion of an individual small-molecule walker. Nature Nanotechnology (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2014.264