Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Anatomy" of a Molecule

Perhaps you've heard about nanotechnology, but you are not sure what it is. Well, below is an image that can help you better understand what it is. We need to be familiar with nanotechnology because it has already began to play a significant role in our lives through its application in medicine and electronics and will be more prevalent in the future.

For the first time, scientists achieved a resolution that revealed the chemical structure of a molecule. IBM scientists in Zurich, Switzerland announced last month that they captured the image of a pentacene molecule with an atomic force microscope.
Above is a ball-and-stick model of the pentacene molecule showing the arrangement of the atoms and the bonds in between. Twenty-two carbon atoms (gray balls) form five interconnected hexagonal rings. Fourteen hydrogen atoms (white balls) bind to the carbon atoms. The molecule itself measures 1.4 nanometers in length. More pictures here.

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