Current Research on Molecular Processing

The ability to understand, manipulate and control physico-chemical processes at the molecular level is one of the great challenges of modern research and underpins the development of what are envisaged to be the vibrant new technologies of the 21st century. Such single molecule engineering requires selective bond cleavage in target molecules to allow subsequent management of the local site chemistry. Recent research has revealed that it is possible to influence the excitation and dissociation of molecules through the manipulation of electron interactions at the individual molecular level. Since electrons are ubiquitous in nature and electron induced reactions (in the gaseous phase, on surfaces and in the condensed phase) initiate and drive the basic physical-chemical processes in many areas of science and technology our ability to control electron interactions provides exciting new opportunities that can now be exploited by both the research and technological communities. Some examples of areas of current research in which the ability to utilise electrons to manipulate molecular processes will be now be briefly discussed.