June 10, 2002
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscience, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität have demonstrated the feasibility of operating molecular machines with light.
A polymer made from photoactive chromophores was deposited on a microscope slide. The polymers were seen expanding and contracting under illumination, performing mechanical work.
Advantages of optical control and energy transfer include picosecond reaction times and simple, massively parallel addressability.