Researchers slid a single large molecule across a surface and detected its internal motions.
The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) can make impressive images of single atoms and molecules on surfaces; now it has been used to measure a molecule's internal motion. A French and German team slid a large molecule along a surface and determined its flexing motions by measuring the so-called tunneling current between the molecule and the STM probe tip. Experts hope that the ability to control and follow these internal motions in such a large molecule will help them develop molecular scale devices.
Read more about this research at Physical Review Focus.
Image credit: Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 088302 (2001)