Single-molecule chemistry

Knowing your neighbours

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Quantitatively studying how the rate of a chemical reaction is affected by a reactant's atomic-scale environment is extremely challenging. This has now been achieved at the single-molecule level using scanning tunnelling microscopy to monitor tautomerization in an atomically well-defined environment.

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Figure 1: Hydrogen tautomerization reaction in porphycene.

References

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Correspondence to Peter Liljeroth.

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Liljeroth, P. Knowing your neighbours. Nature Chem 6, 8–10 (2014) doi:10.1038/nchem.1823

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