“For the first time, scientists have visually captured a molecule at single-atom resolution in the act of rearranging its bonds. The images look startlingly similar to the stick diagrams in chemistry textbooks.” (Wired)
These new images (published in Science) of the covalent bond structure in single-molecule chemical reactions are jaw-droppingly good. The detail that can be visualised is incredible, and was achieved using an atomic force microscope. With it, not only can the carbon atoms be seen, but the bonds between them as well, which is a first. They even discovered a molecular product in a new configuration (Product 4) which they hadn’t predicted.
Now that this initial experiment has succeeded, I’m hoping that other molecules and their reactive products will be visualised. Onwards!