The world’s smallest, slowest race is back after five years – and we are proud to sponsor and share live coverage of the event. Organized by the CNRS Centre d'Élaboration de Matériaux et d'Études Structurales (CEMES), the race sees scientists from around the world to pit molecular machines against each other.
Teams will be aiming to cover the greatest difference possible throughout a 24-hour period using nanovehicles on a winding 4-6 nm wide track – that’s 4-6 billionths of a metre – complete with slalom section, for added difficulty.
The track itself is made of a pure gold crystal, while nanocars built on a molecular level will be propelled on an atomic scale using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM).
The following teams will have racers on the starting line:
- GAzE (Germany),
- NANOHISPA (Spain/Sweden),
- NIMS-MANA (Japan),
- Ohio Bobcat Nanowagon (USA),
- Rice–Graz NanoPrix (USA/Austria),
- San Sebastián–Santiago (Spain),
- StrasNanocar (France), and
- Toulouse–Nara (France/Japan).
The event not only showcases some incredibly precise chemistry, but the technologies shown could lead to smaller electronics and sensors through atom-by-atom construction of circuits, alongside other applications such as deconstruction of industrial waste and capture of energy.
To celebrate our sponsorship we have made a free-to-access collection of articles from our journals PCCP, Nanoscale, Nanoscales Horizons and Nanoscale Advances.