IBM is mostly interested in finding new ways to build a processor or a storage medium instead just pure physics knowledge. They were able to image the bonds that can be seen in molecules and were also able to steal electrons from the molecule in order to change its type.
In the papaer publicshed in Nature Cemistry under DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.2438 IBM researchers, in collaboration with CiQUS at the University of Santiago de Compostela, have observed the rearrangement reaction known as a Bergman cyclisation – which was first described in 1972 by American chemist Robert George Bergman.
The abstract says:
“Here we demonstrate a reversible Bergman cyclization for the first time. We induced the on-surface transformation of an individual aromatic diradical into a highly strained ten-membered diyne using atomic manipulation and verified the products by non-contact atomic force microscopy with atomic resolution.”
Which simply means that they were able to manipulate atoms in order to change the configuration of a molecule. Simply put, this is awesome. It is not the first time, but it has one of the simplest explanatory videos out there. Good on you, IBM.