Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Physical chemistry

A close-up view of coupled molecules

Processes such as photosynthesis depend on the interplay between the electric dipoles of chromophore molecules. Yet these dipole–dipole interactions have not been visualized at the atomic level — until now. See Letter p.623

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Visualizing dipole–dipole interactions.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Zhang, Y. et al. Nature 531, 623–627 (2016).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Hettich, C. et al. Science 298, 385–389 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Yang, B., Trebbia, J.-B., Baby, R., Tamarat, Ph. & Lounis, B. Nature Photon. 9, 658–662 (2015).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Berndt, R. et al. Science 262, 1425–1427 (1993).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Qiu, X. H., Nazin, G. V. & Ho, W. Science 299, 542–546 (2003).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Zhu, S. E. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 15794–15800 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chong, M. C. et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 036802 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Merino, P., Große, C., Rosławska, A., Kuhnke, K. & Kern, K. Nature Commun. 6, 8461 (2015).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Guillaume Schull.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Organic chemistry: Reactions triggered electrically

Physical chemistry: Handedness detected by microwaves

Molecular physics: Matter-wave interference made clear

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Schull, G. A close-up view of coupled molecules. Nature 531, 587–588 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing