Researchers have shown off the first images of the “charge distribution” in a single molecule [of naphthalocyanine], showing an intricate dance of electrons at tiny scales. … The pioneering measurement could shed light on a range of “charge-transfer” processes that are common in nature.
The same team [at IBM Research Zurich] is responsible for the measurement of charge on single atoms, as well as the first image of a single molecule – in a sense the new work is a combination of those two views.
“It will now be possible to investigate at the single-molecule level how charge is redistributed when individual chemical bonds are formed between atoms and molecules on surfaces,” said lead author of the research Fabian Mohn.
“This is essential as we seek to build atomic and molecular scale devices.”
Sorry for the halfassed “OMG ISN’T SCIENCE NEAT” post, but I got a call from work and they need me to work overtime for the week. So, since that takes precedence over entertaining you folks, here we are.
I had originally thought to myself, “Wow, I remember seeing something like that in a hydrogen wave function density plot back 15 or so years ago when I was in school.” (check out 3,2,1.) Then I looked up the chemical composition of napthalo-whatever the hell that is, and it’s something like C48H26N8 … meaning it’s a hell of a lot bigger than something as simplistic as a hydrogen atom. So much for what little understanding I could muster on the topic.
Still, I give you this as just another example of how science is pushing the boundaries of what we can measure, both large and small. It may sound trite, but I take comfort in news of science marching forward after spending so much time reading about things like this on a daily basis.
Don’t forget to “like” my page on Facebook! It only points back here so maybe there’s no point, but hey, it’s a better network than LiveJournal at this point …