The first international nano-car race will be held in Toulouse, France, during spring 2017, with the participation of six international teams. The training session of the Dresden Team is reported here.

To prepare their participation, Eisenhut et al. exercised on the Toulouse LT-UHV 4-STM reconfigured for the race with 4 independent controllers (one per scanning tunneling microscope (STM)). Their findings are reported in EPJ AP.

An Au(111) surface was prepared over a full gold substrate. A 90 nm long race track with two turns was selected on this surface according to the following rules

The Dresden windmill molecule-vehicles were deposited in ultrahigh vacuum conditions, imaged, and manipulated by any one of the 4 tips on the race track, reaching a 5nm/hour driving speed, including the STM image recording after each driving bias voltage pulse. Strategies for a safe and fast driving were established by the Dresden team along the Au(111) surface fcc rafter together with the possibility to repair crashed molecules, for example during the negotiation of a turn.

The teams registered for the nano-car race will benefit from this atomic-scale, single-molecule-vehicle driving experience to improve their own driving strategy.

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