Meet the Nanobobcat, the first generation of Nanocars built at OU!
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

The Nanobobcat is synthesized by the Masson group of Dr. Eric Masson (Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry) and driven on surfaces by the group of Dr. Saw Wai Hla (Department of Physics and Astronomy) using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM)! The team will participate in the 1st International Molecular Car Racing Contest organized by the Centre d'Elaboration de Matériaux et d'Etudes Structurales of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Toulouse, France.

Mission Statement

Our goal is to develop molecular transport systems on materials surfaces that can be controlled with the atomic scale precision. For this, we have designed and synthesized supramolecular pseudorotaxane nanocars. Our nanocars, nicknamed the “Ohio Bobcat Nanowagons”, have been designed with two conditions in mind: (1) the structure of the nanocar should resemble a typical 20th or 21st century car, with a chassis and 4 cylindrical wheels, and (2) the wheels should not be covalently linked to the chassis thereby enabling actual rolling motion. Moreover, these technomimetic nanocars are designed to be driven by electrical energy supplied from a scanning tunneling microscope tip. The nanocars are synthesized by Masson group at Ohio University, and their mechanical properties are currently being tested by Hla group at Ohio University with the support of Center for nanoscale Materials at Argonne National laboratory.

Team Leaders

Dr. Saw Wai Hla
Professor of Physics and Director of CMSS, Ohio University & Head of the Quantum and Energy Materials Group, CNM Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Eric Masson
Associate Professor and Graduate Chair of Chemistry, Ohio University

Ohio Team


Ryan Tumbleson
Engineering Physics Honors Tutorial College, Ohio University

STM Operation Manager

Kyaw Zin Latt
PhD Researcher, Physics, Ohio University

STM Operation

Sanjoy Sarkar
PhD Research Physics, Ohio University

Argonne Support Team

Dr. Yuan Zhang
Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory

Yang Li
PhD Researcher, Ohio University and Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory

Brandon Fisher
Engineering Specialist Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory

Synthesis Team

Chemists who synthesized the OU Bobcat Nanowagons:
Dr. Karthi Perumal, Kondalarao Kotturi, Mersad Raeisi, and Ramin Rabbani
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ohio University