Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smallest possible five-ringed structure made: 'Olympicene' molecule built using clever synthetic organic chemistry

Date:
May 28, 2012
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure -- about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. Dubbed 'olympicene', the single molecule was brought to life in a picture thanks to a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure -- about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. Dubbed 'olympicene', the single molecule was brought to life in a picture thanks to a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.
Credit: IBM Research - Zurich, University of Warwick, Royal Society of Chemistry

Scientists have created and imaged the smallest possible five-ringed structure -- about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair -- and you'll probably recognize its shape.

A collaboration between the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the University of Warwick and IBM Research -- Zurich has allowed the scientists to bring a single molecule to life in a picture, using a combination of clever synthetic chemistry and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

The scientists decided to make and visualize olympicene whose five-ringed structure was entered on ChemSpider, the RSC's free online chemical database of over 26 million records two years ago.

"When doodling in a planning meeting, it occurred to me that a molecular structure with three hexagonal rings above two others would make for an interesting synthetic challenge," said Professor Graham Richards CBE, RSC Council member.

"I wondered: could someone actually make it, and produce an image of the actual molecule?"

Chemists at the University of Warwick, Dr David Fox and Anish Mistry, used some clever synthetic organic chemistry -- the modern molecule designer's toolbox -- to build olympicene.

"Alongside the scientific challenge involved in creating olympicene in a laboratory, there's some serious practical reasons for working with molecules like this," said Dr Fox.

"The compound is related to single-layer graphite, also known as graphene, and is one of a number of related compounds which potentially have interesting electronic and optical properties.

"For example these types of molecules may offer great potential for the next generation of solar cells and high-tech lighting sources such as LEDs."

A first glimpse of the molecule's structure was obtained by Dr Giovanni Costantini and Ben Moreton at Warwick using scanning tunneling microscopy. A higher resolution technique was however needed to unravel its atomic-level anatomy.

To truly bring olympicene to life, the Physics of Nanoscale Systems Group at IBM Research -- Zurich in Switzerland analyzed the chemical structure of olympicene with unprecedented resolution using a complex technique known as noncontact atomic force microscopy. Using the technique IBM scientists imaged a single olympicene molecule just 1.2 nanometers in width, about 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

"The key to achieving atomic resolution was an atomically sharp and defined tip apex as well as the very high stability of the system," explains IBM scientist Dr. Leo Gross. "We prepared our tip by deliberately picking up single atoms and molecules and showed that it is the foremost tip atom or molecule that governs the contrast and resolution of our AFM measurements."

This technique was first published in the journal Science back in August 2009.

The chemical recipes for making olympicene, along with a whole range of other molecules, are posted on the ChemSpider Synthetic Pages (CSSP), where scientists can record and share the best ways to do specific reactions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Smallest possible five-ringed structure made: 'Olympicene' molecule built using clever synthetic organic chemistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528100253.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2012, May 28). Smallest possible five-ringed structure made: 'Olympicene' molecule built using clever synthetic organic chemistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528100253.htm
University of Warwick. "Smallest possible five-ringed structure made: 'Olympicene' molecule built using clever synthetic organic chemistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120528100253.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins