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Nakamura_ChemRxiv_MS.pdf (2.15 MB)

Real-Time Video Imaging of Mechanical Motions of a Single Molecular Shuttle

submitted on 23.10.2019, 14:28 and posted on 25.10.2019, 20:14 by Toshiki Shimizu, Dominik Lungerich, Joshua Stuckner, Mitsuhiro Murayama, Koji Harano, Eiichi Nakamura
Miniatured machines has open up a new dimension of chemistry, studied usually as an average over numerous molecules or for a single molecule bound on a robust substrate. Mechanical motions at a single molecule level, however, are under quantum control, strongly coupled with fluctuations of its environment -- a system rarely addressed because an efficient way of observing the nanomechanical motions in real time is lacking. Here, we report sub-ms sub-Å precision in situ video imaging of a single fullerene molecule shuttling, rotating, and interacting with a vibrating carbon nanotube, using an electron microscope, a fast camera, and a denoising algorithm. We have realized high spatial precision of distance measurement with the standard error of the mean as small as ± 0.01 nm, and revealed the rich molecular dynamics, where motions are non-linear, stochastic and often non-repeatable, and a work and energy relationship at a molecular level previously undetected by time-averaged measurements or microscopy.



Japan Science and Tech-nology Agency (SENTAN JPMJSN16B1)

The National Science Foundation (EAPSI #1713989 and DMREF #1533969)

The Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnol-ogy Infrastructure (NanoEarth) (NSF ECCS #1542100)


Email Address of Submitting Author


The University of Tokyo



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.