For most of us, molecular bonding only really exists as a classroom concept. Some scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can now claim more tangible knowledge, however: they're the first to have taken truly clear snapshots of bonding in progress. While trying to create graphene nanostructures and observe them with an atomic force microscope, a lab team spotted molecules forming their individual, atom-level links during a chemical reaction. The resulting shots were nearly textbook material, too -- as the molecules were neatly placed on a flat surface, the researchers identified the order and nature of each bond. While the images will only be immediately useful for the nanostructure research at hand, they may add a welcome dash of reality to future chemistry lessons.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.