A group of researchers from Rice University has announced that they have developed a technology that will allow for the construction of the world's smallest submarine. It is so small, in fact, that its component will only include 244 atoms.
The submersible is powered by ultraviolet light and is capable of extremely fast movement. It is outfitted with a tail-like propeller that moves it forward at a speed of one inch per second, Popular Science noted. That figure may seem minuscule but for a one-molecule submarine, the speed is incredible. This is made possible through its motor, which will run at more than 1 million RPM, according to Futurity. The motor was proposed by a Swiss-based team and will be constructed through chemical synthesis.
"These motors are well-known and used for different things," Victor García-López, one of the researchers, said in the Futurity report. "But we were the first ones to propose they can be used to propel nanocars and now submersibles."
Once the tiny submarine is finally developed, its developers expect that it will be useful to carry medical cargoes. Presently, the team is still working on being able to steer the submarine's direction. The details of the submarine technology are published in a paper that can be accessed here.