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