Chemists going Dutch

Scientists from the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) and the University of Murcia have built a light-powered molecular bicycle in the city famed for its pedal cycle culture. The molecule functions like the nanoscopic equivalent of bicycle pedals. The structure is based on a new class of azodicarboxamide-based molecular switch; these molecules are derived from a modification of the azo-moiety in azobenzene - one of the most widely employed components in 'light switchable' materials.