Technology

IBM Snaps a Picture of the Charge Distribution of a Single Molecule

80beatsBy Veronique GreenwoodFeb 29, 2012 11:10 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Using an exquisitely sensitive probe, scientists at IBM have succeeded in making an image of where a single molecule's positive and negative charges lie

. The molecule in question is X-shaped naphthalocyanine

, which can switch back and forth between two different configurations when voltage is applied to it, and which IBM has used in its research into tiny logic switches

. It was this shift and its accompanying change in the distribution of the molecule's charge that the researchers chose to investigate. In the image above, red indicates where the electrical field between the probe and molecule was positive, and blue indicates negative. As scientists and engineers look into building molecule-sized transistors and other electronic devices, being able to detect exactly where a molecule's charge is and how chemical reactions change it will be invaluable. Image courtesy of IBM Research

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.