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February 19, 2003


Dr. Josef Michl
Department of Chemistry
University of Colorado
"Artificial Surface-Mounted Molecular Rotors"

Abstract. Synthesis of small dipolar molecular rotors, their mounting on oxide and metal surfaces, and examination of their response to electric field are described, as are efforts towards mounting them in regular arrays designed to have a ferroelectric or an antiferroelectric ground state. The rotors are of two types. Azimuthal rotors consist of a base endowed with high affinity for a surface and carrying an axle directed perpendicular to the surface, with a dipolar unit rotatable around the axle. Altitudinal rotors consist of two such bases connected with an axle oriented parallel to the surface and held far enough from it to permit a dipolar rotatable unit to turn freely. The experiments are accompanied with molecular dynamics calculations that provide an under-standing of rotor behavior as a function of the frequency and strength of a rotating electric field at various temperatures, and also as a function of gas or liquid flow over the surface or through it (when it is constituted as a porous grid). Possible ultimate applications of
these concepts are alluded to. The project is supported by the USARO.

Vanderbilt University