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January 2014

Good Vibrations: Researchers Tune the Chemical Bonds of Buckyballs

If the chemical bonds that hold together the constituent atoms of a molecule could be tuned to become stronger or weaker, certain chemical properties of that molecule might be controlled to great advantage for applications in energy and catalysis. Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry, in collaboration with researchers from Rice University, were able to accomplish this feat by using an applied voltage and electric current to tune the strength of chemical bonds in fullerene or "buckyball" molecules. The softening of the buckyball chemical bonds was revealed by measured changes in the vibrational frequencies of those bonds and resulted in the development of a new theoretical model.

Read the full Berkeley Lab press release.