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Why is it so hard to get around a nanoscopic world?

by Laura Domela

March 26, 2012 at 1:47 PM

nanoscopic.jpg

For a machine the size of a virus, the rules of locomotion are weird and surprising. Water behaves like jittery molasses. Solids are sticky. Just hovering near certain surfaces can repel a tiny vehicle like a same-pole magnet would.

The nanoworld is also vast compared to the macroscopic one, and suitable materials to build motors for nanobots are limited at best.

“Trying to move a nano device at the speed and direction you want is like fighting a hurricane,” said nanotechnologist Daniela Wilson of Radboud University in the Netherlands. “It’s a real challenge to have complete control over the movement.”
via Txchnologist

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