Science (New York, N.Y.) | 10 Nov 2012
C Lotze, M Corso, KJ Franke, F von Oppen and JI Pascual
Energy harvesting from noise is a paradigm proposed by the theory of stochastic resonances. We demonstrate that the random switching of a hydrogen (H(2)) molecule can drive the oscillation of a macroscopic mechanical resonator. The H(2) motion was activated by tunneling electrons and caused fluctuations of the forces sensed by the tip of a noncontact atomic force microscope. The stochastic molecular noise and the periodic oscillation of the tip were coupled in a concerted dynamic that drives the system into self-oscillation. This phenomenon could be a way for enhancing the transfer of energy from incoherent sources into coherent dynamics of a molecular engine.
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