Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks: "In this case, intense terahertz pulses were used to successfully increase the amplitude of movement between amino-acid molecules in crystalline form, essentially softening the crystals. Previous softening methods have always correspondingly raised the temperature, resulting in unwanted changes to the crystals' structure and properties.
'What we have demonstrated is that it is possible to use intense terahertz pulses to climb 20 ladder steps on the anharmonic intermolecular potential in the microcrystals,' explains Dr. Masaya Nagai, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's Department of Physics and a coauthor of the paper. 'This opens the door,' he continues, 'to the possibility of manipulating large molecules, thereby increasing understanding of the properties of molecular complexes such as proteins.'"
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