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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/N02542/01
Title: TOWARDS A WHOLLY SYNTHETIC MOLECULAR MOTOR
Principal Investigator: Jones, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Ryan, Professor AJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 July 2000 Ends: 31 December 2002 Value (£): 220,576
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biological & Medicinal Chem. Chemical Biology
Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We plan to develop, demonstrate and characterise a crude molecule motor designed in analogy to biological molecular motors, but made entirely from synthetic components. This device will convert chemical energy directly into mechanical work at the molecular level by coupling conformational changes of tethered polymer chains with a cyclic chemical reaction. Specifically, we plan to tether weak polyelectrolytes to well characterised substrates and expose them to an oscillating chemical reaction in which the pH cyclicly varies. After confirming by ellipsometry and neutron reflectivity that the cyclic variation in pH leads to a corresponding variation in the conformation of the grafted layer, we will create a motor by attaching one or more chains by one end to an AFM tip, with the other end anchored to the substrate. As this bridged chain reacts to the cyclicly changing pH of the environment a measurable cyclic force will be generated in the AFM cantilever, allowing us to characterise force/distance cycles in this crude molecular motor.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk