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TEACHING CHEMISTRY WITH EXAMPLES : THE 3D VISUALIZATION OF MOLECULAR NANOVEHICLES

C. Rius-Alonso, Y. Gonzalez-Quezada

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (MEXICO)
In our effort to develop new 3D models for teaching different application of the chemical molecules we have undergone the development of molecular machines to teach the utility and application of this new technology. Using a 3D visualization environment (sala IXTLI) we have been able to show in an immersion reality this working machines.

During the last years a lot of efforts have been done to develop functional molecular devices useful for performing mechanical functions.

The limit of miniaturization is the molecular size. A variety of organic compounds such as hinges, motors, rotors, cars, shuttles that resemble macroscopic machinery has been done in the last years. With the use of Molecular Modeling computing programs we have been able to reproduce the reported molecular machines, and show the mechanical working principle. This devices are near to science fiction but with the advancement of Science now are a reality. The visualization of this working models are very explicit of the real behavior at molecular level.

The first example is the nano vehicles. Because of the limitation of current tools for nanosciece, the test bed for surface-capable molecular machines are atomically flat surfaces. Using nanovehicles with molecular wheels and produce devices that can convert energy-input (heat, light, electrical or magnetically fields) into controlled motion on a surface and transport of nano-cargo from one place to another on the surface, is an important step toward future nanomachine development.