Multiple Motions: Applied electrons make molecules vibrate and move | Science News

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Multiple Motions: Applied electrons make molecules vibrate and move

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11:29am, May 28, 2003

Chemical reactions involve billions of individual molecules enacting a complicated dance of bond breaking and formation. In an elegant technical accomplishment that could help researchers better understand these complex interactions, scientists have now choreographed individual molecules to vibrate, break bonds, and move on a surface in specified ways.

In the May 29 Nature, an international team of researchers describes how it used the electron-emitting tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to make individual ammonia molecules move in either of two ways.

Since the advent of STMs in the 1980s, scientists have used the instruments to

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