Is it possible to create molecules with machines? For example: you shoot one oxygen-atom $(\ce O)$ on one diatomic hydrogen $(\ce{H2})$ to create one water molecule $(\ce{H2O})$.

  • $\begingroup$ Crossposted from physics.stackexchange.com/q/232530/2451 $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jan 29 '16 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ You kinda can, but that would be prohibitively expensive. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jan 29 '16 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ Surely you can create any molecule with automation. MIT have done it. Is there another example as water isn't artificial $\endgroup$ – Beerhunter Jan 29 '16 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a replicator from Star Trek. $\endgroup$ – Agriculturist Jan 29 '16 at 23:30

This sounds to me like molecular beam chemistry. Within a vacuum chamber, you can create and collimate a focused "beam" of moving atoms or molecules and direct it to hit a stationary target or another beam. You can use spectroscopy to study the species that are formed. The idea is to look for and characterize reactive intermediates or transition states between starting materials and products. But if you were to create a familiar species such as water in this manner, it is not "artificial" water, but the real thing.

Maybe there is a physical chemist out there that can elaborate further on molecular beams.

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  • $\begingroup$ First Thanks! I think the "artificial" is misleading, I meant it so: "Create Molecules Artificially" ...without the Chemical Reactions! $\endgroup$ – Anonymous Anonymous Jan 30 '16 at 8:38

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