Meet the Bobcat Nanowagon, the world’s smallest monster truck | Science News

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Meet the Bobcat Nanowagon, the world’s smallest monster truck

Curious chemical quirks may help explain why some nanocars end up in the breakdown lane

By
5:21pm, August 23, 2017
nano monster truck

VROOM VROOM  This nanoscale vehicle, dubbed the Ohio Bobcat Nanowagon, consists of four circular “wheel” molecules fastened to an H-shaped molecular frame.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The world’s smallest monster truck has a chemical curiosity under its hood.

Made out of a mere five molecules, the Ohio Bobcat Nanowagon checks in at 3.5 nanometers long and 2.5 wide — about the width of a DNA strand. Even so, it was the heftiest contender in the first-ever nanocar race earlier this year. This pip-squeak vehicle took home the bronze, but perhaps more importantly, researchers made a surprising observation while manufacturing this model of nanoracer.

About 90 percent of the Bobcat Nanowagons that researchers produced broke apart when the scientists tried attaching them to a racetrack. Most broken bits looked like two-wheel hoverboards.

“It’s very surprising that it seems to be easier to break the chassis than to remove the wheel from the chassis,” study coauthor Eric

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