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Molecules Spontaneously Form Honycomb

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the just-a-push-in-the-right-direction dept.

106

Science Daily is reporting that University of California Researchers have discovered a new process in which molecules assemble into complex patterns without any outside guidance. From the article: "Spreading anthraquinone, a common and inexpensive chemical, on to a flat copper surface, Greg Pawin, a chemistry graduate student working in the laboratory of Ludwig Bartels, associate professor of chemistry, observed the spontaneous formation of a two-dimensional honeycomb network comprised of anthraquinone molecules."

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first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941877)

f p

"Honycomb?" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941883)

Typoes in the summary are common enough, but in the title ... and "Honycomb?"

Re:"Honycomb?" (2, Funny)

chfriley (160627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941925)

Or is it some techincal term?

Re:"Honycomb?" (4, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941951)

Almost good enough spelling for Digg.

Honeycombs Big? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941888)

Honeycombs Big?

Re:Honeycombs Big? (4, Funny)

nosredna (672587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941897)

Yeah yeah yeah

Re:Honeycombs Big? (4, Funny)

aprilsound (412645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941921)

It's not small.

Re:Honeycombs Big? (5, Funny)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941934)

No, no, no!

Re:Honeycombs Big? (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941964)

Me want molecule assemble into complex patterns

Re:Honeycombs Big? (1)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942166)

Honeycombs Got...

Re:Honeycombs Big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942280)

A big, big taste.

Re:Honeycombs Big? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942804)

With a bit of ethnic voiceover:

"cum to da hunneh-khom hyde-out!"

Re:Honeycombs Big? (0, Troll)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942847)

If the moderation of the above four comments is any indication, Slashdot is populated by the same demographic which watches Saturday morning cartoons.

Saturday morning cartoons (3, Insightful)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942952)

If the moderation of the above four comments is any indication, Slashdot is populated by the same demographic which watches Saturday morning cartoons.

Nope. Rather, Slashdot is populated mostly by the same demographic who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons many, many years ago before they all turned into lame crap.

Re:Saturday morning cartoons (1)

darklordyoda (899383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943050)

Ugh. Ever want to destroy your childhood memories? Go back and watch some original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or something. Yes, there's still a lot of crap, but I wouldn't say they've gotten any worse overall.

Re:Saturday morning cartoons (3, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943275)

Ever catch one of your old favorites replaying on TV?

They're crap. What we watched was crap then, and what kids watch nowadays is crap as well.

It's just that we were kids and couldn't tell it was crap, so we developed fond memories of it.

Re:Saturday morning cartoons (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15944509)

Ever catch one of your old favorites replaying on TV?
They're crap. What we watched was crap then, and what kids watch nowadays is crap as well.
It's just that we were kids and couldn't tell it was crap, so we developed fond memories of it.


No way man.... the likes of Johnny Quest, HR Pufnstuf(*) and Sigmund & the Sea Monsters, Fat Albert, Jetsons, Josie & the Pussycats, Speed Buggy and ScoobyDoo, etc. (and don't forget the king of animation, the original Pink Panther), still beats the stuffings out of rubbish like Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Tutenstein, Kenny the Shark and Lazytown(**) anyday.

(*) This show terrified me as a toddler in the extreme early 1970's, but I eventually got over my deep-seated fear of big-headed large stuffed dragon/dinosaur characters by age 4 when this show finally went off the air, but that fear was revived much later in life by that big purple Barney monster.

(**) Something about this show is truly disturbing.

Re:Honeycombs Big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941942)

No no no.

For those who don't get it: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942192)

(including me, until I did a quick Google search)

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yDZK6H3d5bk [youtube.com]

Re:For those who don't get it: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942457)

Thanks. Not being an American I was completely lost :)

OTOH, at least I'm not an American :)

Re:Honeycombs Big? (2, Funny)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942210)

Seriously, how big are these honeycombs?

sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941891)

like ice 9?

Re:sounds like (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942601)

No, it's nothing like thaWHOOSH! NO CARRIER

crystals (0)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941896)

Leave some sodium and chlorine together and let the rest of the solution evaporate and you will spot a cubical arrangement of molecules. This concept is new?

Re:crystals (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941904)

Leave some sodium and chlorine together and let the rest of the solution evaporate and you will spot a cubical arrangement of molecules. This concept is new?

Yes, it is. The nifty part is the SIZE of the arrangement. If you bothered to read the article, you would notice that the hexagon pattern is in a very unusual size range.

Re:crystals (3, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941956)

This doesn't seem any more unusual than a crystal lattice.
Its just doing it in another molecule.

I'm with the GP, its not earth shattering.

Re:crystals (2, Funny)

scotch (102596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942485)

Stop the presses, armchair chemist poo-poos academic research. Slashdotter to be consulted before all new federal grants.

Re:crystels (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943636)

Slashdotter to be consulted before all new federal grants.
They spent taxpayers' mony on this?

Re:crystals (2, Funny)

cmeans (81143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941993)

We keep telling ourselves, that SIZE isn't important....

Re:crystals (3, Interesting)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942008)

This is pretty cool stuff. Makes me wonder how exactly it works (IANAC). Suppose you set up the lattice and then dropped a new molecule right in the middle of an existing pore. Presumably it would be attracted to one of the edges, but what then? Does the whole lattice get rearranged as the new molecule is shuffled into place? Where does the energy come from for all of that?

Way more interesting than a salt crystal, btw.

Re:crystals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942153)

YANAC and you believe a salt crystal is not interesting. I would not be so sure about that. There is a reason sodium chloride is present throughout the world of known living organisms.

Re:crystals (1)

albeit unknown (136964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942495)

What about the P.O.U.S.'s?

Patterns Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

Re:crystals (1)

theGreater (596196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941994)

Yes, and without any outside involvement, too.

In their research the UCR chemists first cleaned the copper surface, creating an extremely slippery surface. Then they deposited anthraquinone molecules onto it. Next, the surface with the molecules was annealed to spread the molecules. During cool-down to the temperature of liquid nitrogen, the hexagonal pattern emerged.

Oh, hang on a tic....

-theGreater.

This is a big big discovery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941900)

These researchers have taken a big big bite out of ignorance.

On another note, are these honeycombs that much more complicated than the crystalline lattices that form all the time in other substances?

What if Bush perpetrated 9/11 himself? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941910)

Wow this is just amazing...
http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/911.html [comcast.net]

Honycomb? (1, Informative)

linguae (763922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941922)

Honycomb? Honycomb? Honycomb? Me want honycomb? I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Last time I checked, it is honeycomb, with an e.

Re:Honycomb? (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942023)

They left the experiment a little to close to a potatoe. (All members of the nightshade family have a missing vowel in their outer shell.)

Re:Honycomb? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942102)

They left the experiment a little to close to a potatoe. (All members of the nightshade family have a missing vowel in their outer shell.)

      And is your "too" repository also grown from nightshade stock?

Re:Honycomb? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942920)

Most likely. Although it could also be from a broken 'two' repository.

Re:Honycomb? (1)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943037)

Eggplante?

Re:Honycomb? (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15944518)

Ggplant!

Re:Honycomb? (1, Flamebait)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942237)

I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

What, are you a grammar nazi on pot or something? :-)

Re:Honycomb? (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942289)

Quite possibly.

But apparently he is a tongue [reference.com] .

Re:Honycomb? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942388)

No, he either is tongues or of a tongue. Or for a tongue. Learn your declensions.

Re:Honycomb? (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942536)

I am pretty sure that I wasn't the only one who knew the correct spelling, but didn't notice the mistake.

Altogether now..! (1)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941930)

Professor - it's alive!

Re:Altogether now..! (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941972)

Professor - it's alive!


It's a walkin', talkin', honeycomb [oldielyrics.com] !

Really cool, but surprising? (4, Insightful)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941938)

This is really awesome, however carbon spontaneously forms many different shapes, not the least of which are C60, nanotubes, and graphite (which has a honeycomb shape). As cool as this is, what part of this is "news?"

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (2, Funny)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942011)

carbon spontaneously forms many different shapes, not the least of which are C60, nanotubes, and graphite

There's also that obscure form called diamond.

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942037)

As cool as this is, what part of this is "news?"

You must have missed this part:

Anthraquinone molecules, however, form chains that weave themselves into a sheet of hexagons on the copper surface, forming a network similar to chicken wire.

Obviously this is big news to farmers who raise little tiny chickens.

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (1)

apraetor (248989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943815)

It's not particularly surprising, either. The lone pairs on each oxygen will repel those on adjacent oxygen atoms, causing the interlocking pattern. Similarly, these same electrons will be attracted to the metal surface (copper); since they are on opposing edges of the molecule they will hold it flat against the surface.

Neat? Sure. I fail to see how this is a new process, however.

--Matthew

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15944031)

Obviously this is big news to farmers who raise little tiny chickens.

I hereby submit my patent and trademark applications (on /., of course) for NanoNuggets(tm).

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (2, Insightful)

damian cosmas (853143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942068)

I think it's kind of silly, but getting something to self-assemble cooled in liquid nitrogen is a little different than the "spontaneous" formation of fullerenes and whatnot in an electric arc furnace, since lots of things happen spontaneously at 1800 K and the yields are piss-poor. Still, this is nothing new. Zeolites have been self-assembling with large pore sizes for a while now.

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (4, Insightful)

dwhitman (105201) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942122)

carbon spontaneously forms many different shapes, not the least of which are C60, nanotubes, and graphite (which has a honeycomb shape). As cool as this is, what part of this is "news?"
All the examples you give are covalently bonded molecular structures, where the observed regularity is derived from the symmetry of the orbitals forming the bonds.

What's cool about this (as near as I can tell from the junior high-school level article) is that the structures are supramolecular, many orders of magnitude larger than the anthraquinone molecules they are made of. The structures seems to be held together only by (weak) van der Waals interactions between the molecules, influenced by the copper substrate. This is interesting and unusual, if you know enough chemistry to appreciate it.

I'd love to see x-ray diffraction of these layers, to see how the anthraquinones are packing, and how the symmetry of the molecules is reflected in the much larger honeycomb.

Re:Really cool, but surprising? (1)

enslaved_robot_boy (774973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15944430)

This is very cool and here's why:

The holy grail of nanotechnology is the regular arrangement of clusters of atoms. This is the basis of future technologies like quantum computing, light based computing, and efficient solar power to name a few. Currently there is no way to make regular patterns of nanocrystals in arrays that is economically feasable, easy, or quick.

The discovery of this self assembled arrangement is significant because it suggests that people are getting close to figuring out how to make a scaffolding for the production of such regular arrays. If people can figure out how to fill the in the holes in the "chicken wire" pattern with different types of materials or figure out how to vary the size of the holes this discover could lead to some very cool stuff.

importance? (3, Informative)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941963)

I am failing to grasp the importance of this. Molecules form regular structures? This have been observed for many types of molecules starting from atoms (metals), small molecules (have you heard of ice) and things as huge as ribosomes (itself 100nm).
How's this thing is unqiue? In what aspect?

The answer to this question is probably, huge pores compared to the size of the monomer, but I am still not impressed.

Re:importance? (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942005)

To spare you from having to read the article, they spontaniously make a think layer on copper that isn't just a lump (like your examples) but has holes in it. The holes have a patern, the surface now has hexagons on it! If you have questions still, open the article and look at the pictures. Those are molecules (imaged by an atomic force microscope or Scanning tunneling microscope).

So they made something with a microstructure without doing anything at all. This is "shake and bake" chemistry beyond doubt, but sometimes a million monkeys do type a great phrase or two.

Re:importance? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942106)

whoopdie doo, plenty of crystaline structures in oranic chemistry have repeating 3D holes and voids too, you should see some crystals made out of viruses, for example. This is totally unimpressive.

Re:importance? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942232)

So it is not the importances and uniqueness of the result, but simplicity of the method. Still not impressed

Re:importance? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942103)

This issue seems to be the scale of the self-assembled structure, and its simple origin. The comparison with a ribosome is not to the point. Ribosomes have evolved over about a billion years. In this case, the metal substrate and organic molecule are off-the-shelf, not proprietary. Also, the symmetry group is different from that of nanotubes or buckyballs. Third, the size of the channels makes them suitable for applications such a 3-D nanoelectronic circuitry.

-- Jonathan Vos Post

Even bigger news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941967)

The next day it formed the words "take me to your leader".

Complex shapes shouldn't be surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941975)

The whole point of fractals is that they follow very simple rules but become very complex. My own particular complex shape is the Bucky ball.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullerene [wikipedia.org]

This "discovery" ain't shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15941992)

Call me when molecules spontaneously form Captain Crunch and we may have a headline.

Re:This "discovery" ain't shit! (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942140)

Call me when molecules spontaneously form Captain Crunch and we may have a headline.

Ring, ring... wait 4.6 billion years. Voila!

Re:This "discovery" ain't shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942190)

Well, it depends on the time scale. Over a very long time scale, the existence of Captain Crunch is the result of spontaneous molecular formation. Of course, this might piss off some fundamentalist religious extremists. Knowledge tends to do that.

Soon to be patented... (2, Funny)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15941995)

...by Post Cereal.

Re:Soon to be patented... (1)

bulliver (774837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942698)

It's safe from patent, read the article title again: "Molecules Spontaneously Form Honycomb" Another case of this infamous "off by one" error...

Stupid (1, Flamebait)

adun (127187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942004)

This is fucking stupid. You'll see experiments like this in any chemical engineering department at any university. Any M.S. student is capable of this kind of (routine) work.

How about appointing some /. editors with a modicum of scientific knowledge outside of Star Trek and Stephen Hawking books?

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942040)

Not that it fucking matters to the science gods on this site but it helps to read the fucking article.

"The finding, reported in the Aug. 18 issue of Science, describes a new mechanism by which complex patterns are generated at the nanoscale - 0.1 to 100 nanometers in size, a nanometer being a billionth of a meter - without any need for expensive processes such as lithography."

Re:Stupid (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942072)

Oh wow, I'm an expensive lithograph? Cool!

I wonder if I'm signed and numbered.

KFG

Postscript: (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942081)

I wonder if I'm signed and numbered.

I am! I am! And with a complex arrangement of particles on the nanoscale to boot.

KFG

Re:Stupid (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943922)

Why (other than slurring /. editors) is this flamebait? The author is correct in that this is not a high-level experiment. The presumption that this is just a publish-to-publish scientific article is probably correct as well. Someone explain the flame mod.

Re:Stupid (1)

DerangedAlchemist (995856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15945005)

But this was a _successful_ experiment. These are _novel_ structures and, therefore, novel nano-materials which means they beat all those other chemical engineering departments to the discovery. Lots of experiments are routine but give novel data that is useful.

Just because we knew how to decode the genome doesn't mean it was scientifically useless to do.

Not New (1)

damian cosmas (853143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942024)

It's called "self-assembly," and google scholar lists a mere 13,800 results for it. People significantly more well-known (George Whitesides, for example) have been doing this sort of chemistry for decades.

And word to the wise: the copper surface could easily be an "outside source". Get some self-assembly in the gas phase and then we're talking spontaneous and impressive.

Re:Not New (1)

jibster (223164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942073)

Whats new here is the size of the structures. From the diagram in the article I make out 4-5 molecules per side of the hexigon. That makes a huge area inside with no molecules. The question posed is what combination of surface forces is casuing this. Organisation over that kind of scale has been seen before but never I don't remember ever seeing it in a 2D pattern.

The significance is we have a new toy molecule. We know from past systems that very minor changes in the electron structure, the HOMO-LUMO levels in particular, can vastly change the shape and complexity of the pattern.

Your right about the outside source but I bet its a 50-50 interaction rather than just the copper causing this. In pervious systems I've seen I've imagined that the relatively local electrons in separate molecules were talking to each other through the unlocalised metalical electrons of the substrate. In my books that's cool!

If nano technology is ever to bootstrap its self its going to be from building blocks like these. Simple systems with simeple rules developing complicated results.

Re:Not New (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942168)

If nano technology is ever to bootstrap its self its going to be from building blocks like these. Simple systems with simeple rules developing complicated results.

No, not really.

A net tied from single fibers is not as complex at one level than a net tied from twisted fibers, but on another level they share identity in complexity, which is to say they both lack it.

They're both just regular, ordered hexes.

Yes, it's very useful to be able to make an oqaque shirt that blocks wind and a net the admits light and wind, but blocks mosquitos and we will no doubt find analogous uses on the nanoscale.

But being able to make a shirt and a net doesn't bring you one whit closer to being able to make a car. That requires irregular complexity.

On that level this new arrangement of molecules is no more complex than a bezene ring.

KFG

Re:Not New (2, Interesting)

jibster (223164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942227)

Your right and I agree completely. If you look at the shape this is only this is not complex in the least. Many materials do this. Is so common I wondered at first why it was news. Then I saw the scale.

There are a lot more degrees of freedom in this system than in a hexagon with only 1 molecul per side. What would happen if we added 1% of another molecule? Could you engeneer it to only fit in certain locations and modify say, ever third? The starting of a gate-drain-source arranegment?

OK there's a lot of what ifs there but the potentional pay off is huge. These structres are built at the same time all over the surface. If it could be manufactored it would scale amazingly.

I researched in this field and now I work in it. This stuff is 20+ years out but its a simple modifable molecule like anthraquinone that's going to kick start true nanotech.

Re:Not New (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942327)

. . .there's a lot of what ifs there. . .

I guess I'm just being dubious about these, and perhaps a bit "teechy" about any old arrangement of molecules being labeled "nanotechnology." We used to just call this "chemistry." Now it seems as if every bloody enzyme is being called a "nano machine."

Hey, I've got a "nanotechnology" shirt. It's made out of something they call "polyester."

Back in the day nanotechnology meant the reduction to the nano scale of macro technology.

KFG

Re:Not New (1)

DerangedAlchemist (995856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15944968)

I guess I'm just being dubious about these, and perhaps a bit "teechy" about any old arrangement of molecules being labeled "nanotechnology." We used to just call this "chemistry." Very true, but calling it nanotechnology makes it much easier to get research grants. I would call this nanomaterials, but really we're just arguing about the semantics of what kind of chemistry this is. Now it seems as if every bloody enzyme is being called a "nano machine." ... Back in the day nanotechnology meant the reduction to the nano scale of macro technology. But enzymes _are_ nanomachines by the definition you use. Enzymes are natures bio-nanotech. Designed enzymes and enzyme mimics have not been very successful so far. Not that the ideas are bad, but a much greater understanding of the chemistry involved is needed to actually design something. That will take some time.

No guidance? (1)

electronerdz (838825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942030)

NO outside guidance? Then how did the anthraquinone get on the copper? Someone put it there. That sounds like someone helping the process to me...

Re:No guidance? (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942285)

What do you want, intelligent design?

Life? (1)

rannala (876724) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942035)

Spontaneous origin of life, perhaps? Simple viruses aren't that complicated.

Re:Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942189)

no.

Re:Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942394)

Simple viruses aren't that complicated.

let's see you make one then.

Wow (3, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942056)

"Spreading water, an inexpensive and common chemical, on to a flat surface, Dan East, a Slashdot reader with Excellent Karma, observed the spontaneous creation of individual droplets as the molecules self-organized themselves to form larger complex structures."

Dan East

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

frickendevil (977786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942093)

Please tell us the chemical composition of this "water" and what type of "flat surface", and I'm sure we can arrange you with your PhD. Today our PhD's come with some hony. Please enjoy.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942146)

2 heydrogn atoms and one oxgen

Send without hony, allergic to pees

Crappy article (2, Insightful)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942117)

The article is overly simplified, and reads like the researchers are blowing their own trumpet. If you have a clean metal surface, pretty much anything will stick to it. This will form a stable layer with a regular structure. Whilst it may be the first time anyone has seen anything that big, I would doubt that it is an entirely new mechanism as they claim.

Big deal. Wake me up when they form... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942132)

...a lattice of pentagons.

Worst sentence ever written. (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942296)

"Spreading anthraquinone, a common and inexpensive chemical, on to a flat copper surface, Greg Pawin, a chemistry graduate student working in the laboratory of Ludwig Bartels, associate professor of chemistry, observed the spontaneous formation of a two-dimensional honeycomb network comprised of anthraquinone molecules."


Wow, just wow. I had to read it four times, how about you?

"Sounds good spoken" != "Reads well in print"

Re:Worst sentence ever written. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942685)

poor you.

Had to... (0, Redundant)

Spokehedz (599285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942297)

Honeycomb big?

no, no, no!

Its very small?

Yea yea yea!

(BRING BACK FUTURAMA!!!)

Since noone has anything intelligent to say (1)

carl0ski (838038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942349)

I'll just give a run down
Since noone has anything intelligent to say

hexagonal shapes in nature form an extremely strong object.


this spontaneous display though pretty may be more important in manufacturing
\so isnt really important to us.

you may be able to purchase this at you hardware store in 10years as a glue or major core function of a construction kit.

.

The whole freakin universe forms spontaneously (1)

gootar (996563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15942505)

The whole freakin universe forms spontaneously

http://gravityboy.gootar.com/ [gootar.com]

At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15942732)

Finally! A solution to our growing honey shortage.

>.

Useful aplications in Space? (1)

rHBa (976986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943084)

Could the "spontaneity" of the process be useful in space? As the technology is applied to different materials perhaps as a protective covering? Or a growth medium for "Biological cells and tissue" in zero gravity. Certainly the extremes of temperature ("the surface with the molecules was annealed to spread the molecules. During cool-down to the temperature of liquid nitrogen, the hexagonal pattern emerged.") requiried for this phenomenon would be easily reached (but controlled?) in space.

is anthraquinone aromatic? (1)

aeve (741109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943085)

I'm not too solid on quinone chemistry. Anthraquinone is planar, all the ring molecules are sp<sup>2</sup> but appears to have 16 pi electrons (not a Huckel number). Although the oxygen hybridization is a little flexible, I'm guessing the molecule's not aromatic but damned close.
<br>
<br>
So does oxidized copper accept a pair of electrons from the anthraquinone or does the metal donate?

Comma's... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15943104)

"Spreading anthraquinone, a common and inexpensive chemical, on to a flat copper surface, Greg Pawin, a chemistry graduate student working in the laboratory of Ludwig Bartels, associate professor of chemistry, observed the spontaneous formation of a two-dimensional honeycomb network comprised of anthraquinone molecules."

6 Comma's; one butchered, unreadable sentance, and the entire article's like that.

What happened to the days writers used things such as paragraphs, periods, and semicolons, and grammar? Oh wait, I know what happened; Some dipshit decided to try to introduce metered speech, a hypnotism technique, into news articles to make them sound more official. So now we've got poindexter here, managing the pauses in his text so anyone who can speed-read it ends up in a train wreck and anyone who reads it like a 3rd grader ends up thinking it's some great discovery. While the rest of humanity who still has their brains intact, looks at it flat out and thinks to themselves "and the point of reading this is?".

News for nerds my ass.

Re:Comma's... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15943409)

"6 Comma's; one butchered, unreadable sentance, and the entire article's like that"

You seriously couldn't read it? I mean, it might have been sloppy, but unreadable? With all the mistakes you made in your own post?

"6 Comma's [...] What happened to the days writers used things such as paragraphs, periods, and semicolons, and grammar? Oh wait, I know what happened; Some dipshit decided to try to introduce"...

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