What Does A Molecule Look Like?

As machinists, we are used to handling materials in the bulk world.

As machinists, our ease in obtaining productivity is influenced by the microscopic world of phases, microstructures, and chemistry.

Underneath this microscopic world lies the world of molecules  and atoms themselves.

This is the chemical formula for pentacene. It is used in organic thin film transistors.

Pentacene_png

 

 

 

Recently researchers from IBM research team in Zurich used an atomic force microscope to capture an image of a single molecule of this substance.

Compare to the structure above.

Compare to the structure above.

This image of a single molecule shows the five rings of six carbon atoms and suggests the hydrogen bonds along the edges.

The precision needed to resolve at this atomic level requires both extremely high vacuum and frighteningly cryogenic temperatures. And you thought you had temperature control issues in your metrology lab.

Our industry will not be at this atomic-level nanoscale any time soon, at least not for our production processes.

We hope this glimpse of what makes up our material world from the frontiers of science gives you a better appreciation for the work of all the chemists, metallurgists and engineers in the supply chain that produce our raw materials, tools, and metalworking fluids. For all of history, scientists have struggled to  make sense of their observations, develop theory, structure and formulas that made sense. This IBM image confirms that we’re on the right track.

Full story care of BBC .

 

 

 

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