MANHATTAN — Physicists at Kansas State University have collaborated to formulate a technique that records the first image of two atoms bonding together to form a molecule.
In addition to capturing a molecule’s formation, the feat is the first step to enabling scientists, not nature, to control chemical reactions at a molecular level.
Chii-Dong Lin, distinguished professor of physics, and Junliang Xu, doctoral graduate student in physics, Hefei, China, are both researchers in the university’s James R. Macdonald Laboratory. They collaborated with physicists from Ohio State University to visually document a molecule’s formation. Their study, "Imaging ultrafast molecular dynamics with laser-induced electron diffraction," was published in a recent issue of Nature and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.