The conversion of energy into controlled motion plays an important role in both man-made devices and biological devices. In collaboration with the group of Prof. J.V. Barth at the TU München the self-assembly of molecular motors from simple molecular building blocks was achieved. Rod-like molecules from the dicarbonitrile-type and metal atoms self-assemble into a stator-rotor configuration, whereas confined supramolecular units of three molecules carry out a coordinated rotational movement.
In the same spirit, the EC-BIOMACH initiative, which is coordinated by Mario Ruben, gathers essential European expertise in biology, physics and chemistry to assemble machines, motors and devices based on molecular building blocks.