A group of scientists from the University of Ulm (Germany) as part of the Salve project recorded a video that has already been dubbed the “Best Short Right of the Year”. For the first time in history, researchers managed to show how the connection between the two atoms is formed – not schematically, but “live”, on real particles. And this was not a passive observation, but an experiment – the fact of recording and launched the beginning of the reaction.
The main tool was the transmission electron microscope, which works by analogy with a conventional camera. Only passes not photons through a photosensitive film, but electrons through super -thin samples of materials. The particles are so small that they allowed to achieve an unprecedented resolution – the video shows individual atoms of rijeen with a diameter of 0.2 nanometer.
Scientists have used a single -walled carbon nanotube with a width of about 1 nm as a “test tube”, a medium for connecting atoms. The choice of material is due to the fact that, although it belongs to heavy metals and has atomic number 75, its isotope is stable, and the sizes of atoms belong to the “average”. The passage of an electronic beam from a microscope handed them an energy impulse, which provoked the formation of atomic bonds.
In addition to recording a video, the experiment pursued a number of other goals. For example, scientists have proven that an electron beam can use as a process control tool. And the form of carbon nanotubes affects the behavior of atoms and allows you to create conditions for various modes of formation of metal ties. Now in line experiments with other metals and other scale.
Source — Salve Project