For The First Time, Chemists Closely Observe A Molecular Bond As It Forms

February 12, 2015 9:13 PM

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For The First Time, Chemists Closely Observe A Molecular Bond As It Forms

Chemists in California have become the first to witness the instant that two atoms form a bond in one stage of a chemical reaction known as the transition state. The breakthrough dramatically furthers chemists’ understanding of catalysis, one of the most basic stages in chemical reactions, and could open the way for engineering new medicines, stronger plastics or high-efficiency fuel cells.

"We are seeing the birth of the molecule," Anders Nilsson, who led the effort as a chemist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, says.

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