When it comes to studying single molecules, scientists use a powerful technique called surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). An extremely sensitive tool, SERS detects the vibrations within the atoms of the illuminated molecule as a change in light color. But the sensitivity of SERS is limited at room temperature because molecules vibrate too weakly. Ecole Polytechnique… Read more

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz, Germany and FOM Institute AMOLF in the Netherlands has characterized the local structural dynamics of liquid water, i.e. how quickly water molecules change their binding state. Using innovative ultrafast vibrational spectroscopies, the researchers show why liquid water is unique when… Read more

Building on their creation of the first-ever mechanical device that can measure the mass of individual molecules, one at a time, a team of Caltech scientists and their colleagues have created nanodevices that can also reveal their shape. Such information is crucial when trying to identify large protein molecules or complex assemblies of protein molecules… Read more