added back on again, marking the first time a single chemical bond has
been broken and reforged in a controlled, reversible way.
researchers used a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) for their
cutting tool, which works by manoeuvring a sharp metal tip close to an
object, applying a small voltage, and measuring the trickle of
electrons that flow between the two.
The team first used their STM to locate a methylaminocarbyne (CNHCH3) molecule that was fixed to a platinum surface.
they turned up the voltage, increasing the flow of electrons. That was
enough to break one bond – between the molecule's nitrogen and
hydrogen atom – but not to disturb any of the other bonds,
leaving a molecule of methylisocyanide (CNCH3).
Powered by ScribeFire.