Anchoring single atoms

There is a dictum to ‘never change a running system’. New methods can however be far superior to older ones. While to date chemical reactions are mainly accelerated by catalytic materials that comprise several hundreds of atoms, the use of single atoms could provide a new approach for catalysis. An international research team has now developed a new method for anchoring individual atoms in a controlled and stable manner on surfaces. This is an important step towards single atom catalysis.