Nanodragster! Racing at the speed of... millimeters per hour!

dragster: Ok, so the nanodragster does not look quite like this...
dragster: Ok, so the nanodragster does not look quite like this...Courtesy creative.paradox
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! Well, technically, nanocars do not have engines. Instead of an engine, they move along a super thin, superfine layer of gold when heated up. The original design by a team at Rice University used four buckyballs as the wheels. They were really great at staying on the gold layer, but needed pretty high temperatures (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit) to get moving. Another design used smaller wheels made of p-carborane. However, this compound slides around the gold layer as if the gold was black ice. It was also difficult to take pictures of the slipping and sliding p-carborane dragster. Naturally, the answer is to have the two rear wheels made of buckyballs, and the front wheels made of the p-carborane compound, resulting in a nanodragster! The new design has a good balance of grip and agility. Plus, a lower temperature is required to get it to move. The nanodragster blazes along the gold layer at speeds of up to 0.014 millimeters per hour! Yes, millimeters per hour! Keep in mind that the nanodragster itself is over 50,000 times thinner than a human hair. The Rice team hopes that structures like the nanodragster will find uses in future nanotechnologies perhaps dealing with electronics.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is rad.

posted on Wed, 03/31/2010 - 9:43pm
Arceus's picture
Arceus says:

This is Weird!! Nanodragsters can go 0.014 milimeters per hour and they are 50,000 times smaller than the size of a human hair!!!

posted on Fri, 04/02/2010 - 2:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How long did you take to make this? It's a really cool project btw...=)

posted on Sat, 05/15/2010 - 4:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WOW!this little car is awsome I wish i had one

posted on Thu, 06/24/2010 - 5:35pm
dancegirl's picture
dancegirl says:

It is weird how something that small can move so fast!

posted on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 6:23pm

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