Technology Whoa: Watch the First-Ever Video of Atoms Bonding Together

03:10  22 january  2020
03:10  22 january  2020 Source:   popularmechanics.com

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For the first time, scientists have filmed the bond formation between two individual atoms in real-time. Such chemical bonds occur on a small scale, about half a million times smaller than a human hair's width. Watch chemical bonds forming and breaking in a molecule | Science News

Video shows two rhenium atoms vibrating within a carbon nanotube 'test tube'. Scientists have captured the first ever footage of atoms bonding at a scale around half a million times smaller The atoms eventually snapped and vibrations ceased, but a little later the atoms joined together again

a close up of a black background: Scientists have used electron microscopy to record atoms bonding for the first time. This is the best short film you'll see this year. © ScienceNews/University of Nottingham Scientists have used electron microscopy to record atoms bonding for the first time. This is the best short film you'll see this year.
  • Scientists have used electron microscopy to record atoms bonding for the first time.
  • Electron microscopy blasts tiny items with even tinier electrons to "illuminate" them.
  • Researchers used the electron beam to help their project along, by energizing the rhenium atoms they wanted to bond.

Inverse reports that scientists have recorded video of atoms bonding and separating for the very first time. The research team used transmission electron microscopy in collaboration with the SALVE Project at the University of Ulm.

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Some notes from discussion with Prof Moriarty 1 . At 5:45, that Silicon cantilevers can be used to see atoms as long as the oscillation amplitude is high. Sixty Symbols videos by Brady Haran.

For the first time ever , a research team from the UK and Germany led by Professor Ute Kaiser, head of the Electron Microscopy of Materials Science in In this case we trapped a pair of rhenium (Re) atoms bonded together to form Re2. Because rhenium has a high atomic number it is easier to see in TEM

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) blasts a beam of electrons through a very thin sample of material, which is a lot like how traditional film photography already works on the “macro” scale, but with electrons instead of light. Electrons are so tiny that the resolution of a TEM image is visibly legible for atoms.

The researchers used tools from the SALVE Project to power their nano-scale recording, and the atoms in the video are each about ¼ nanometer across. In their paper, the scientists explain that the video shows pairs of rhenium atoms being mixed “using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as a nano–test tube.” The electron beam itself influences what we see, because the electrons transfer their kinetic energy to the new rhesium-rhesium molecule.

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Bonds form by the attraction of negatively charged electrons and the positive nucleus of atoms . However the first shell, for all atoms , can only contain two electrons so once the two Hydrogen atoms come together the two electrons essentially ‘fill’ the outer shell of both Hydrogen atoms .

Learn the basics about how atoms bond when learning about the structure of atoms . However the first shell, for all atoms , can only contain two Overall, in this video you will learn how two atoms which approach each other have the possibility to bond if there is space in their outer electron shells.

An individual rhenium atom is just 205 picometers across: 205 trillionths of a meter, and .205 nanometers. Rhenium has an atomic number of 75 and is a “heavy” metal element, but this atom size is right in the middle of the distribution of different elements. Carbon nanotubes range from about one nanometer to a few nanometers in diameter. The researchers found that their rhesium atoms bonded to the side of the carbon nanotube like a shy child hanging onto the wall of the swimming pool.

The team also emphasizes that the investigative tool itself—the electron microscope—not only records the experimental proceedings, but actually pushes them to progress by adding that electron energy. “We show that the simultaneous function of the electron beam as a source of energy and an imaging tool allows advancement in the understanding of metallic bonding,” the researchers write. “The metallic bond can change over time as a result of the electron beam effect.”

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And while confining the rhenium atoms to a small carbon nanotube helped with the process of focusing and recording footage, the team says the shape of the tube itself influenced what the rhenium atoms were able to do.

“As the bonding modes available seem to be largely influenced by the curvature of the [nanotube] wall, it is reasonable to assume that the wider nanotube with a smaller degree of curvature imposes less of a restriction on the possible bonding modes and behaves more similarly to the outside of the tube,” the study authors explain.

The technology is cool and exciting, with potential to record other elements on the electron-microscopic scale. The research team emphasizes that metallic bonds in particular are both very important and still very mysterious. It’s hard to observe metal-metal bonds and measure important factors about them, partly because other materials interfere and can distort bond length and other data scientists must know in order to study bonds. The scientists’ methodology here also included stripping all ligands out of their samples, meaning the bonds they observed are pure metal-metal without any confusing outside noise.

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