Nature News

Watching the sigh of a molecule

The physics of condensed matter

August 15, 2019

A microscope observes a single molecule that "relaxes" after gaining an electron.

Microscopes can detect the structural change of a molecule when it "relaxes" after gaining an electron.

Researchers have used highly effective microscopes to learn the way cost additions and subtractions, or "redox reactions," have an effect on electrons which are molecules in orbit. However researchers know much less about how such reactions alter the geometric construction of molecules.

To analyze, Philipp Scheuerer of the College of Regensburg in Germany, Nikolaj Moll of IBM Analysis-Zurich in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, and their colleagues used an atomic power microscope. This instrument has a probe whose tip consists of a single molecule that detects minute forces on the atomic scale. When it’s scanned by molecules of curiosity, the probe evaluates their topography by measuring the engaging and repulsive forces felt by the tip of the probe.

The staff first analyzed the construction of a impartial molecule consisting of a copper atom within the middle of a shallow dome of nitrogen atoms , carbon and hydrogen. The researchers then injected an electron into the molecule.

Observations and pc simulations have proven that, as soon as charged, the molecular construction "relaxes" and sinks to the floor on which it rests, whereas the central copper atom is pushed upwards by 5 trillion occasions. meter meters.

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