Moving molecules by hand

Published on February 9, 2015

In 1990 the first single atom manipulation experiments were carried out with a scanning probe microscope. The video describes how today, 25 years later, a motion tracking system is used to couple the microscope tip directly to the operator’s hand.

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Literally moving the tip with their hand, the operator creates a nanoscale structure by removing molecules from a monolayer, although the molecules are bonded strongly to their neighbours. The experiment illustrates the power of intuitive control and demonstrates the possibility of intentional manipulation even when the interactions between the manipulated objects are largely unknown.

Tautz Group | Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Professor Dr. F. Stefan Tautz is Director of the Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. Research in his institute centres on functional nanostructures at surfaces and is geared towards exploring and extending the limits of nanoscale engineering.

Dr. Ruslan Temirov, a group leader at the Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, is an expert in scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy at low temperatures.

Dr. Christian Wagner, a Post-Doc at the Peter Grünberg Institute at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, works towards enhanced control in molecular manipulation experiments.

Music by Alexander Lubeckij alexlubeckij@gmail.com

Sources

Green, F. B. M., Esat, T., Wagner, C., Leinen, P., Grötsch, A., Tautz, F. S. Temirov, R.; “Patterning a hydrogen-bonded molecular monolayer with a hand-controlled scanning probe microscope” Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2014, 5,1926–1932, DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.5.203.

 

Green, F. B. M., Esat, T., Wagner, C., Leinen, P., Grötsch, A., Tautz, F. S. Temirov, R.; “Patterning a hydrogen-bonded molecular monolayer with a hand-controlled scanning probe microscope” Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2014, 5,1926–1932, DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.5.203.

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