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Halogen Atom Sigma Hole Viewed for the First Time

By Dr. Inés Urdaneta / Physicist at Resonance Science Foundation

By functionalizing with a single xenon atom the tip probe of a Kelvin force microscope, a group of researchers from the CATRIN of Palacký University in Olomouc, the Institute of Physics of the CAS, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS, and the IT4Inovations Supercomputing Center at Technical University of Ostrava have achieved an extraordinary increase in the resolution of atomic scanning microscopy, increasing the sensitivity of the microscopy up to sub-atomic level.

Thanks to this achievement, this group -lead by Pavel Jelínek- was able to capture the real image of the anisotropic (asymmetric) electronic charge distribution -called sigma-hole- on single atoms of halogen compounds. The sigma hole (abbreviated as σ-hole) asymmetric electron density distribution was predicted 30 years ago but never observed before, until now.

This prediction is based on the...

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