9360-0152/04 – Molecular and supramolecular nanomachines (MOLNM)

Gurantor departmentCNT - Nanotechnology CentreCredits2
Subject guarantordoc. Ing. Jonáš Tokarský, Ph.D.Subject version guarantordoc. Ing. Jonáš Tokarský, Ph.D.
Study levelundergraduate or graduateRequirementCompulsory
Study languageEnglish
Year of introduction2019/2020Year of cancellation
Intended for the facultiesFMT, USPIntended for study typesFollow-up Master
Instruction secured by
LoginNameTuitorTeacher giving lectures
TOK006 doc. Ing. Jonáš Tokarský, Ph.D.
Extent of instruction for forms of study
Form of studyWay of compl.Extent
Full-time Graded credit 0+2

Subject aims expressed by acquired skills and competences

Student will be able to: define the term nanomachine classify and characterize various types of nanomachines discuss methods of controlling nanomachines and monitoring their movement characterize basic concepts of supramolecular chemistry, coordination chemistry and molecular topology predict the properties of nanomachines according to the structure discuss the principles of syntheses of nanomachines demonstrate suitable types of nanomachines for specific applications

Teaching methods

Individual consultations


Student is acquainted with the issue of nanomachines - a relatively new and increasingly evolving area of nanotechnology. An unconventional view of molecular and supramolecular structures is presented in terms of their properties and functionality, and the knowledge of students in chemistry and physics of nanomaterials is further extended to understand the principles of nanomachines and the methods of controlling their intended motion. Wide range of nanomachines, from simple synthetic functional components to complex nanomachines based on synthetic and natural supramolecular structures is presented in this course. The first practical applications of the nanomachines are also discussed. The seminar is supplemented by many examples from the scientific literature.

Compulsory literature:

GÓMEZ-LÓPEZ, M. and J.F. STODDART. Chapter 3 – Molecular and supramolecular nanomachines. NALWA, H.S. Handbook of Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology: Volume 5. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000, pp. 225–275. ISBN 978-0-12-513760-7. BENNISTON, A. C. and P. R. MACKIE. Chapter 4 – Functional nanostructures incorporating responsive modules. NALWA, H.S. Handbook of Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology: Volume 5. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000, pp. 277-331. ISBN 978-0-12-513760-7. MULLER, A.W.J. Were the first organisms heat engines? A new model for biogenesis and the early evolution of biological energy conversion. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 1995, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 193-231. DOI: 10.1016/0079-6107(95)00004-7.

Recommended literature:

DREXLER, K.E. Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology. 2nd ed. New York: Anchor Press, 1987. ISBN 978-0385199735. WANG, J. Nanomachines: Fundamentals and Applications. 1st ed. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2013. ISBN: 978-3-527-33120-8. BALZANI, V., A. CREDI and M. VENTURI. Molecular devices and machines. Nano Today. 2007, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 18-25. DOI: 10.1016/S1748-0132(07)70055-5. SAUVAGE, J.P., J.P. COLLIN, S. DUROT, J. FREI, V. HEITZ, A. SOUR and C. TOCK. From chemical topology to molecular machines. Comptes Rendus Chimie. 2010, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 315-328. DOI: 10.1016/j.crci.2009.10.008. SEEMAN, N.C. From genes to machines: DNA nanomechanical devices. Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 2005, vol. 30, no. 3, pp.119-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.tibs.2005.01.007.

Way of continuous check of knowledge in the course of semester

Written form. The study results are verified on the basis of elaboration of individual semestral work (max. 40 credits, required minimum 20 credits). Semester is completed by credit test (max. 60 credits, required minimum 31 credits).


Other requirements

Elaboration of individual semestral work is required.


Subject has no prerequisities.


Subject has no co-requisities.

Subject syllabus:

1. After an initial introduction to the history and the current state of nanomachine research, various definitions of the term nanomachine and basic classification is presented. Differences and similarities of machines and nanomachines are discussed. In relation to supramolecular nanomachines, the basics of supramolecular chemistry are presented. 2. The methods of motion/function monitoring and visualization of nanomachines are presented. Attention is paid to rotational and conformational changes, followed by methods of propulsion - self-propelled vs. externally controlled nanomachines. Students get acquainted with the problematics of nanomachine motion in liquid. 3. Attention is paid to coordination chemistry, coordinate covalent binding and its description. Different types of coordination complexes are presented and their stability is discussed. In addition to complexes, attention is also paid to other compounds useful in the synthesis of nanomachines. 4. Various types of molecular functional units are presented with particular focus on molecular rotors and molecular brakes. Factors influencing the rotation speed, the problem of continuous rotation and the effectiveness of the braking elements are discussed. 5. Based on the previous topic, the nanovehicles are presented. Various types and methods of controlling their movement is introduced. Problems of synthesis efficiency and manipulation with nanomachines are demonstrated on the example of these nanomachines. 6. Attention is paid to molecular nanomachines based on azo- and similar compounds. Students get acquainted with nanotransporters, nanolayers with adjustable height or tweezer based on these compounds. In connection with nanotransporters, the use of nanomachines as drug carriers is discussed. 7. After initial introduction of basic topological terms, understanding the issue of planarity in molecular structure, and molecular knots, supramolecular nanomachines based on rotaxanes and catenates are presented. The methods of their synthesis are listed and the students get acquainted with the principles of molecular elevators and switches, including their control. 8. Based on the previous topic, practical applications of rotaxane-based nanomachines are demonstrated. Students get acquainted with molecular muscles, molecular press, molecular layers with adjustable hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, etc. 9. Attention is paid to nanomachines based on coordination compounds with particular focus on ruthenium complexes. Molecular analogy of molecular analogy of current through extension cable from source to appliance is demonstrated. The problem of self-assembly is discussed and students get acquainted with molecular wires. 10. The use of carbon nanotubes for the construction of nanomachines is discussed. Molecular grinder and molecular weights are presented. Further, in connection with the topic of self-assembly, the use of carbon nanobelts is presented. 11. The theme of nanomachines and question of primary forms of life is discussed. Differences between synthetic and biological nanomachines are presented, and students get acquainted with basic types of biological nanomachines with particular attention to protein motors. 12. Based on the previous topic, structure and motion of flagella and cilia are presented. Further, examples of their use in the construction of nanomachines are shown and a hybrid approach to the construction of nanomachines using biological and synthetic components is discussed. 13. Students get acquainted with DNA-based nanomachines Based on the previously discussed self-assembly the possibility of using DNA for the construction of components for nanomachines is presented. 14. Test.

Conditions for subject completion

Full-time form (validity from: 2019/2020 Winter semester)
Task nameType of taskMax. number of points
(act. for subtasks)
Min. number of points
Graded credit Graded credit 100  51
Mandatory attendence parzicipation: Attendance at seminar is compulsory.

Show history

Occurrence in study plans

Academic yearProgrammeField of studySpec.ZaměřeníFormStudy language Tut. centreYearWSType of duty
2022/2023 (N0719A270003) Nanotechnology P English Ostrava 2 Compulsory study plan
2021/2022 (N0719A270003) Nanotechnology P English Ostrava 2 Compulsory study plan
2020/2021 (N0719A270003) Nanotechnology P English Ostrava 2 Compulsory study plan
2019/2020 (N0719A270003) Nanotechnology P English Ostrava 2 Compulsory study plan

Occurrence in special blocks

Block nameAcademic yearForm of studyStudy language YearWSType of blockBlock owner