Olympicene: just to see if we can

Not too long ago, a picture from the world's most sensitive atomic force microscope was published, which showed the internal structure of a fairly small organic molecule: a 5-ring snippet of graphene, which is currently a hot and sexy topic in carbon chemistry.

The AFM in question has a sensor "needle" made of a single carbon monoxide molecule, and it's small enough to measure the gap in the middle of a six-carbon hexagonal ring structure, of which olympicene has five.

Will olympicene be a useful compound? I don't know. It's one of a class of potentially useful compounds. Even if it turns out not to be useful itself, learning how to control the reactions to create it is useful in learning how to create other molecules, and learning how to get a clear image of it is useful in learning how to get clear images of other molecules, so we can directly see what shape they are.

And here's an interview with the people who made it:

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