A research team with the University of Warwick and the IBM Research from Switzerland was recently successful in creation of a triangulene molecule through manipulation of a precursor molecule physically with the help of a scanning probe microscope tip. In a paper that was published recently the team showcased the approach adopted by them and all that they learned regarding the properties of the molecule.
A triangulene molecule, as the name defines, is a hydrocarbon molecule that has triangular shape and is completely flat as the thickness is just of a single atom. Chemists all over the world have been trying for years, in complete vain, to create one such molecule as these are expected to have quite unique and unmatched properties. The main reason for their failure was the instability that was caused due to unpaired electrons. Under this new approach, the researchers adopted a completely new approach with a scanning probe microscope tip they were able to nudge pieces in the right place and then got rid of the parts that were completely unnecessary.
In order to create one such molecule, the researchers started the experiment with a dihydrotriangulene molecule as it didn’t had the reactive unpaired electrons, they used these electrons as precursors and laid it over a base. After this, they probed it with electron microscope tip in order to get molecules for aligning in a specific manner. Once done with this, they fired a bam of electrons at a molecule twice to get rid of hydrogen, what remained behind was a triangulene. The team then formulated image of the molecule they had formed with the very same microscope that showcased an unmatched triangular shape. They also discovered that they could keep the molecule stable till they could maintain a low temperature in vacuum. While testing the molecule they discovered that two unpaired electrons had aligned spins as expected. It is for this property that they were trying to synthesize a molecule of this type
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