Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Artificial Molecular Switches & Motors
Gordon Research Conference

Controlling Movement on the Molecular Scale


June 11-16, 2017


Holderness School
Holderness, NH Site Information


Amar H. Flood

Vice Chairs:
Ivan Aprahamian & Steve Goldup

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 14, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

Across all scales, mechanical machines generate motion. That motion is characterized by the coherent change in location of one body with respect to another. Across all ages, we have been aware of the usefulness of controlling motion. With engineered motors now replacing horsepower, the modern world is filled with mechanized machines to perform work of all kinds. We also recognize that these devices perform work we either find demanding or that occurs in places in which we cannot act, such as at the nanoscale. It is on this scale, starting from molecules, that we must start to understand, design, and create the next generation of switches and motors to mechanize our world from the bottom up. Nature provides the ultimate inspiration with sliding actin-myosin fibers painting a picture of a mechanized nanotechnology where many small motors impact our macroscopic world.

This GRC acknowledges that the formative steps to switch and motorize molecular matter are being taken now. For this reason, we provide a forum for a multidisciplinary group of researchers to present ideas, experimental realizations, and physical descriptions of artificial switches and motors. Organic chemists create novel molecules performing reversible switching. Theoretical scientists provide the understanding that underpins predictive designs. Soft and hard matter scientists and engineers integrate molecular switches into higher-order architectures, ultimately giving rise to larger devices. Bioengineers and physicists create kinesin-like walkers to test understanding of small motors. Biology is also manipulated when switches are harnessed to control when and where enzymes function. All these possibilities rely on the controlling the movement of matter on molecular length scales. For this reason, the open exchange of ideas and ample time for discussion places the GRC in an ideal position to provide a forum for presenting the frontiers of Artificial Molecular Switches and Motors.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Artificial Molecular Switches & Motors" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by February 11, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Molecular Motors and Switches
    (Eric Masson / Ben L. Feringa / Mitsuhiko Shionoya)
  • Nanoparticles and Interfaces
    (Rainer Herges / Rafal Klajn / Anne-Sophie Duwez)
  • Switchable Assemblies
    (Oren Scherman / Xi Zhang / Toshikazu Takata)
  • Bioinspired Machines
    (R. Dean Astumian / Henry Hess / Heiner Linke / Rasmita Raval)
  • Chemical Switches
    (Mindy Levine / Jonathan Sessler)
  • Switches at the Interface with Biology
    (Stefan Hecht / Dirk Trauner / Angelique Y. Louie / Marina Kuimova)
  • Active Materials
    (Edith Sevick / Takuzo Aida / Nathalie Katsonis)
  • Molecular Switches
    (James Crowley / Alberto Credi / Li-Zhu Wu / Natia Frank)
  • Molecular Machines
    (Jan Jeppesen / J. Fraser Stoddart)
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