Lab Spotlight: Argonne - Caged Perspective

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This computer simulation looks out from inside a carbon-60 (C-60) buckyball on a copper-111 surface. The C-60 molecules arrange themselves in a repeating surface to form a pinwheel structure. Being able to view molecules with this degree of complexity is essential to understanding the geometry of and formation of new catalysts.

More technically, a view is presented from inside of a C-60 buckyball on a copper {Cu(111)} surface. The C-60 molecules arrange in a repeating periodic structure on the surface connected by pentacene molecules to form a chiral pinwheel structure. In this image, by Rees Rankin of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), the apparent curvature of the surface is visually forced from the wide-angle perspective viewed. Copper atoms are represented in orange, carbon atoms in grey, and hydrogen atoms in white. The structure’s geometry is calculated using Density Functional Theory with Van der Waal’s corrections.

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