The 2nd Nanocar Race is organized by the European FET OPEN project MEMO (Mechanics with Molecules). Ten teams are expected to be authorized to participate in the race. The certificate of the teams will be achieved by July 2020.
Nanocars competing in the race are single molecules, each of which consists of 100-1,000 atoms with a distinguishable front and rear.
They are only a few nanometers (1 nm = 10-9 m) in length and have chemical structures designed to move on a track surface when electrons are provided from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM).
Nanocar drivers control the motion of nanocars using the electrons.
The competition will be broadcast live. The 1st Nanocar Race in 2017 was followed live by more than 100,000 people on a dedicated YouTube channel. The Nanocar Race also offers the opportunity to promote research in mobile machines at the nanoscale.
Beyond the nanocar race competition, the overarching objective is to advance research in the observation and control of molecular machines at the ultimately miniaturized single molecular scale.
More than just a competition, the Nanocar Race is an international scientific experiment that will be conducted in real time, with the aim of testing the performance of molecular machines. The years ahead will probably see the use of such molecular machinery—activated individually or in synchronized fashion—in the manufacture of common machines: atom-by-atom construction of electronic circuits, atom-by-atom deconstruction of industrial waste, capture of energy, etc. The Nanocar Race is therefore a unique opportunity for researchers to implement cutting-edge techniques for the simultaneous observation and independent maneuvering of such nanomachines.