Friday, May 31, 2013

First-ever high-resolution images of a molecule as it breaks and reforms chemical bonds

First-ever high-resolution images of a molecule as it breaks and reforms chemical bonds
Almost as clearly as a textbook diagram, this image made by a noncontact atomic force microscope reveals the positions of individual atoms and bonds, in a molecule having 26 carbon atoms and 14 hydrogen atoms structured as three connected benzene rings. Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley

What the microscope showed the researchers, says Fischer, "was amazing." The specific outcomes of the reaction were themselves unexpected, but the visual evidence was even more so. "Nobody has ever taken direct, single-bond-resolved images of individual molecules, right before and immediately after a complex organic reaction," Fischer says.
The researchers report their results in the June 7, 2013 edition of the journal Science, available in advance on Science Express. 

More @ Phys-org

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