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Researchers use new approach to create triangulene molecule

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posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 07:04 PM
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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 quantum computer.

Phys.org, Feb. 15, 2017 - Researchers use new approach to create triangulene molecule.

Also:
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!





posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 07:22 PM
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Might be a bit more interesting if you explained what a triangulene molecule was to the layman and whats it all about. Maybe some history?



posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 08:01 PM
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a reply to: PhoenixOD

The carbon molecule is of great interest to material scientists. After 2D graphene was made in the lab other forms began to be investigated (as were other atoms). Graphene works because the bonds alternates across the sheet. It becomes super strong.

This new form, while trying to become stable, forms a block that is a triangle of carbon molecules. The electrons fall into their lowest state available. But like a game of musical chairs, two are left out.

Those two are desperate for a seat and will interact with anything passing by.

Magnetic, electric, a free molecule... they have not begun to think of uses. But the first that came to me was a quantum computer.

Sorry, had to go mobile! Does that help??



posted on Feb, 16 2017 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Thank you for trying to explain, i really appreciate it.



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 04:43 AM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

So are you talking about a triangular lattice of carbon molecules?



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: PhoenixOD

Yes! The carbon electrons fill the lowest level orbit around the atom. These guys manipulated the bonds so it would make a triangle shaped 2D molecule of just carbon. That leaves two electrons free for any purpose.

Free electrons can't exist in that state. They need to attach to something. How or what it is used for is the big question!!



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 03:02 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

So this should be as strong as graphene but lighter?



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: PhoenixOD

No, triangulene is way different than graphene. Graphene gets its strength by being bonded in alternating double- and single-bonds. At one atom thick, this form (called an allotrope) is extremely strong.

This new molecule is a bit different. It is also one atom thick but the bonds are filled in a different manner. The group of molecules, in an attempt to reach a stable state, end up in a group that forms a triangle with two left over free electrons. This is a group of six carbon molecules that have be in this formation to keep the property with two free electrons so it would not be an entire sheet of material.

So instead of a sheet of carbon atoms you end up with a stack of six carbon atoms with two free electrons. A different purpose. The fact that the molecule can last several days on the substrate is longer than previous quantum bits (qubits) created. That is why I am all excited!

About quantum computers from nextgov.com: IBM RESEARCHERS HAVE CREATED AN “IMPOSSIBLE” MOLECULE THAT COULD POWER QUANTUM COMPUTERS. (their caps)

ps - Sorry, but crashed out a couple times in trying to reply



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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DP (serious problems on my end, may just log off and watch Ancient Aliens and drink beer and eat pizza!)
edit on 17-2-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: way slow response times on my side



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

No problems buddy i really appreciate the effort you have put into your replies.



posted on Feb, 18 2017 @ 05:28 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

It isn't a triangular lattice. That implies 3 dimensional crystal stacking akin to diamond. It is a single molecule that looks like this:




posted on Feb, 18 2017 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: PhoenixOD

Hi PhoenixOD,

The molecule is so interesting because the two free elections on opposite sides of the molecule align & spin the same making it magnetic at the molecular level. It is also possible that the subatomic particles are also somehow aligned or "communicating" electronically accounting for the "free" electrons to spin the same. Presumably, it will be offered a variety of other atoms in the vacuum to see if the free electrons are more likely to create a bond by sharing the free electrons (covalent) or the whole thing might dissolve if the free electrons are given up to the new atoms introduced to make new molecules. They've already tried copper & it wouldn't bond to it which was a surprise.

It's interesting that the molecule was theorized back in the 1950s but no one has been able to make it & keep it stable. Also of note is that it was IBM scientists that made it rather than, say, university researchers or something like JPL. If IBM can patent the creation process, using the molecule ( much, much later ) in things like electronics or quantum computers, it could be worth billions.



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