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Single molecule's electric charges seen in first image

The team's first-ever charge distribution measurements (top) matched neatly with theory Researchers have shown off the first images of the "charge distribution" in a single molecule, showing an intricate dance of electrons at tiny scales. Charges on single atoms have been measured before, but capturing the dance within a complex molecule is significantly more difficult. The pioneering measurement could shed light on a range of "charge-transfer" processes that are common in nature. Details are reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The work comes from a group at IBM Research Zurich that specialises in examining the world at the infinitesimal scale of atoms and molecules.

in a sense the new work is a combination of those two views. called Kelvin probe microscopy. "This is essential as we seek to build atomic and molecular scale devices. In combination with more established techniques. is held at a small voltage while it is scanned across the surface of a much larger. though. is that by applying a voltage to the molecule directly. It is a variant of the atomic force microscopy that allowed the first molecular image in 2009." . and the electrons reshuffle to opposite arms of the "X". It requires a tiny bar just billionths of a metre across and with a sharp tip that ends in a single small molecule. the cantilever begins wagging in a way that shows up precisely where the electrons are. As the charged tip encounters charges within the naphthalocyanine.The same team is responsible for the measurement of charge on single atoms. naphthalocyanine. With the team's technique. or cantilever. but also for future applications in which electric behaviour at such scales will be exploited. two hydrogen atoms at its centre swap places. the approach will shed light on the nanoscale world that is promising not only for fundamental science. as well as the first image of a single molecule . This bar." said lead author of the research Fabian Mohn. However. they were able to observe this change in charge distribution. it makes use of a different technique. X-shaped molecule. "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. The trick of naphthalocyanine.