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Visualized: a hydrogen bond seen for the first time

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
September 30, 2013
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Chalk one up for atomic force microscopy. As detailed in a paper published recently in the journal Science, researchers in China have used the imaging technique (as opposed to scanning tunnelling microscopy) to capture an image of a hydrogen bond for the very first time. As io9 explains, hydrogen bonding is common in nature -- responsible for the properties of water and the link between the two strands of DNA's double helix -- and it's something that chemists have long been able to visualize, albeit only on a theoretical level. According to Chemistry World, while there remains much to learn about the nature of hydrogen bonds, the researchers hope that this latest development will help lead to atomic force microscopy (or AFM) being used as a routine tool to examine molecules and offer a clearer picture of them.

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