Dynamic hetero-metallic bondings visualized by sequential atom imaging

Minori Inazu, Yuji Akada, Takane Imaoka*, Yoko Hayashi, Chinami Takashima, Hiromi Nakai, Kimihisa Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Traditionally, chemistry has been developed to obtain thermodynamically stable and isolable compounds such as molecules and solids by chemical reactions. However, recent developments in computational chemistry have placed increased importance on studying the dynamic assembly and disassembly of atoms and molecules formed in situ. This study directly visualizes the formation and dissociation dynamics of labile dimers and trimers at atomic resolution with elemental identification. The video recordings of many homo- and hetero-metallic dimers are carried out by combining scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with elemental identification based on the Z-contrast principle. Even short-lived molecules with low probability of existence such as AuAg, AgCu, and AuAgCu are directly visualized as a result of identifying moving atoms at low electron doses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2968
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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