Molecular Machines: Principles and Mechanisms

DIPC Seminars

Michel A. Van Hove, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
Donostia International Physics Center
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Molecular Machines: Principles and Mechanisms Molecular machines are gaining increasing interest and have earned the Chemistry Nobel Prize in 2016. They have the potential to spawn the next technological revolution after microelectronics and optoelectronics. Central issues in molecular machines are energy intake, conversion, output and transmission. Molecular machines promise to convert energy and control mechanical motion at length scales down to the nanometer. This talk will discuss basic issues of the operation of molecular motors, including energy conversion steps, continuous energy supply, the role of thermal energy, intentional start and stop of motion, unidirectionality of motion and transmission of rotation among gear-like molecules. Without intentional control of these aspects, motors create random motion and are largely useless. Some molecular machines cause reciprocal motion, as in muscles and switches, while others cause rotational motion, as in flagellae: we discuss mechanisms and theoretical models of both. This work was supported by grants from the Hong Kong Baptist University Strategic Development Fund, the Institute of Creativity, which is sponsored by Hung Hin Shiu Charitable Foundation (孔憲紹慈善基金贊助), the Hong Kong RGC, and by HKBU’s High Performance Cluster Computing Centre, which receives funding from the Hong Kong RGC, UGC and HKBU, as well as by the Tianhe2-JK cluster at the Beijing Computational Science Research Center and by the Tianhe2 cluster at the National supercomputer center in Guangzhou, China. Short Biography Michel A. VAN HOVE is Director, Institute of Computational and Theoretical Sciences, and Chair Professor, Department of Physics, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong. He holds a BSc in Physics of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, 1969, and a PhD in Theoretical Solid State Physics of the University of Cambridge, 1974. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, earned the Ernst Mach Honorary Medal for Merit in the Physical Sciences (Acad. Sci. Czech Rep.) and the Surface Structure Prize (Int’l Conf. on the Structure of Surfaces). His research focuses on atomic-scale structure and bonding of solid surfaces and nanostructures, in particular now on the mechanisms of molecular machines. He has produced about 400 publications, incl. 12 books, 10 edited proceedings volumes, 55 reviews and book chapters, 36 letters, 251 regular articles, and 29 proceedings articles. He has over 15,000 citations, and an h-index of 73 (SCI) or 83 (Google). He has organized or co-organized many international meetings and has been on the Editorial Board of 10 international journals. Host: Ricardo Diez Muino