posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 07:04 PM
To create the molecule, the researches began with a dihydrotriangulene molecule because it did not have the reactive unpaired electrons—they
used it as a precursor, laying it on a base (they tried xenon, copper and salt) and then probing it with the electron microscope tip to get the
molecules to align in the desired way. Next, they fired an electron beam at the molecule two times to remove the hydrogen, leaving behind a
triangulene. The team then created an image of the molecule they had created using the same microscope, which showed its unique triangular
shape. They also found they were able to keep the molecule stable as long as they kept it in a vacuum at low temperatures. In testing the molecule,
they found that its two unpaired electrons had aligned spins, which was expected. That property was one of the reasons that chemists have been
trying to synthesize the molecule—it is believed it could prove very useful in various electronic devices and might even have applications in a
Phys.org, Feb. 15, 2017 - Researchers use new approach to create triangulene
Ars Technica - Triangulene,
reactive, magnetic relative of graphene finally produced
Businessinsider.com, Science - Scientists have finally
created a triangle-shaped molecule in the lab
. (color photo, a simulation but still cool)
So they started with something like a benzene ring (carbon and hydrogen linked in a ring form), then as explained, they knocked off the hydrogen
molecule with an electron beam. That left a 2D carbon ring but it differs from graphene in that arranges itself into a triangle. But to reach that
stable state it basically has two free floating electrons!
This entire endeavor had to be done in vacuum and for good measure they chilled the molecule down to keep it from immediately reacting with anything.
See, two free electrons are like a static charge and will want to donate themselves to any material that would accept them; Like oxygen. That would
desroy the triangulene they just created. The article explains that it did *not* react with a metal substrate and they were confused as to why
(spoiler: it was not touching the metal to interact).
Anyway, jumping the gun as I am want to do, pre-cooled, free electrons, already spinning together... sounds like a good place to do the old quantum
entanglement thing, et. viola! A qubit is born! The science team included IBM... so that is where my mind raced to.
Anyway, this is cool news and the Ars Technica article can make you feel a little smarter trying to remember your Chemistry 101!
Welcome to the world triangulene!! Happy Birthday!