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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

New Technique Capable of Imaging Molecules Before and After Reactions...

•, By Tamarra Kemsley
 Pioneered by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the method uses a state-of-the-art atomic force microscope to clearly depict how a molecule’s structure changes during a reaction whereas previously, scientists were only able to infer this type of information
from spectroscopic analysis.
“Even though I use these molecules on a day-to-day basis, actually being able to see these pictures blew me away,” lead researcher Felix Fischer, an assistant professor of chemistry, said in a press release. “Wow! This is what my teachers used to say that you would never be able to actually see, and now we have it here.”

The capacity to image molecular reactions in this way has the potential not only of helping chemistry students better understand chemical structures and reactions, but showing chemists for the first time exactly the products of their reactions and, in so doing, help them fine-tune them to get precisely the results they want.

Fischer, along with his colleague Michael Crommie, a UC Berkeley professor of physics, captured the images with the hope of building new graphene nanostructures with the hope of aiding in the production in next-generation electronics.

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