ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: June 16, 2021

Recent advances in molecular motors 

Molecular motors occur naturally in the body, powering muscles and moving cargo, such as vesicles, throughout cells. In recent years, researchers have used these machines as inspiration to create an array of molecules that can move in response to a variety of stimuli, and that could someday be components in robotics and medical devices. Below are a few recent papers published in ACS journals that report on these developments.

“Quantum-Classical Simulation of Molecular Motors Driven Only by Light”
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 
June 7, 2021
A new molecular system is proposed that could achieve faster motor speeds using light as the only input, avoiding a slow thermally activated step.

“Molecular Pumps and Motors”
Journal of the American Chemical Society
April 8, 2021
This recent review discusses the history of artificial and naturally occurring motors and pumps.

“Molecular Rotor Functionalized with a Photoresponsive Brake”
Inorganic Chemistry
February 19, 2021
A molecular rotor fueled by electrons can brake after photoisomerization, and this braking action could be reversed by thermal heating.


The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact

Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Media Contact

ACS Newsroom