IBM's research lab in Zurich which won the Nobel Prize for imaging individual atoms has gone a step further by imaging individual bonds between atoms. The breakthrough, made possible by collaboration with the Universidade de Santiago (Compostela, Spain) and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, Toulouse) will enable scientists not only to fine-tune new materials, but will also enable easier characterization of natural compounds: R. Colin Johnson
Individual molecular bonds between fullerene atoms (buckyballs, left) precisely follow the graphical representation of polygons (right) with atoms at vertices connected by bonds shown as lines.
IBM Fellows Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics with German physicist Ernst Ruska, worked in the same lab that demonstrated this new technique for the first time at IBM Research (Zurich, Switzerland). IBM said the research will aid in the development of new organic materials for solar cells, light-emiting diodes (OLEDs) and graphene semiconductors. IBM is also using the technique to help unravel the structure of unknown carbon compounds...