August 11, 2022

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The first images revealed atoms “swim” in the liquid

picture Peruvian From Pixabay

for the first time A camera detects the movement of individual atoms in a liquid. Using two-dimensional materials, the scientists trapped and observed different platinum atoms “swimming” along a surface at different pressures. This will help us A better understanding of how a liquid changes the behavior of a solid with which it is in contactwhich, in turn, has implications that can occur in the development of new materials and materials.

Given the importance of this behavior, it’s really surprising to understand how much we still have to know about the basics of how atoms on surfaces behave when in contact with liquids. One of the reasons for the lack of information is Lack of techniques capable of producing experimental data for solid-liquid interfaces.

Some atoms discovered swimming in a liquid

When a solid and a liquid come into contact with each other, i The behavior of both substances changes where they meet. These interactions are important for understanding a wide variety of processes and applications, such as transporting substances within our bodies or Movement of ions in batteries. Of course, as we can understand, it is very difficult to see the world on an atomic scale. transmission electron microscopeWhich uses an electron beam to generate an image, is one of the few technologies available.

Previous work on liquid graphene cells was promising, but yielded inconsistent results. In addition to, TEM usually requires a high vacuum environment to operate. This is a problem because many materials do not behave the same way under different pressure conditions. Fortunately, a new form of this method has been created To work in liquid and gaseous environments, which the team used for the new study. The next step was to create a special set of microscopic “slides” to stabilize the atoms. Graphene is the ideal material for these experiments, because it is two-dimensional, strong, inert and water-resistant. With that, the team has developed a dual graphene liquid cell capable of working with existing TEM technology.

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Then this dungeon was full Salt water contains platinum atoms, which the team observed moving across a solid surface. The photos revealed some great ideas. For example, atoms in a liquid move faster than outside it, choosing different places on the solid surface to rest. Moreover, the results inside and outside the vacuum chamber were different, indicating that Changes in ambient pressure can affect the behavior of atoms. This is an important milestone and it is only the beginning: researchers are already trying to use this technology to support the development of materials for sustainable chemical processing, which is essential Realizing the net ambitions of the world.

picture Peruvian From Pixabay