Like it? Share it!

IBM photographs the electric charge in a single molecule

The above image is a molecule, and the circles represent how the electrical charge is distributed inside it. It’s a rare glimpse of the forces that bind molecules together. This picture is a major breakthrough for nanotechnologists. Understanding how charge is arranged inside molecules could help research in anything from solar energy to biology.

IBM researchers made this image using a new technique called Kelvin probe force microscopy, a different version of the more familiar atomic force microscopy that already gave us the first pictures of a molecule three years ago. When it hovers over the molecular sample, the tip of the probe creates an electric field, which can be measured. The researchers were able to determine the electrical charges of the molecule by looking at changes in this electric field. The colorful picture above represents the charge distribution in an X-shaped molecule called naphthalocyanine. It has two hydrogen atoms that are facing off, and when a voltage is applied, the hydrogens switch their configurations. This affects the way electric charge is distributed in the molecule, as the other atoms in naphthalocyanine have to re-jigger themselves so everyone stays together and happy.

Watching that dance can unveil how atoms behave at much higher resolution. This new method could be used to study charge transport in molecules used for computing and energy storage, according to IBM.

Via


13 notes

Show

  1. syntaxerrror reblogged this from iheartchaos
  2. taeyeonlikesgirls reblogged this from iheartchaos
  3. 67000mph reblogged this from iheartchaos
  4. bonamassochist reblogged this from iheartchaos
  5. jackfoxesq reblogged this from iheartchaos and added:
    15 minutes later they manage to photograph it topless. You know, for art.
  6. iheartchaos posted this

blog comments powered by Disqus









See all IHC Reviews here

Want to submit a review for IHC and make a few bucks?
Please drop us a line and let us know what movie, game, book or TV show you want to review and we'll hold your spot. See full review guidelines here.