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.

Related Articles


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 November 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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