With $20 million over five years from the National Science Foundation, UC Irvine scientists hope to become the first ever to make real-time videos of single molecules in action – a feat that has proved elusive because size and time scales are so small. Success for UCI’s Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit, one of three NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation, would greatly accelerate the pace of nanoscience, which is driving the miniaturization of technologies ranging from computers to radios to satellites. “If you can see a single molecule in action, then you can intervene, control and direct what it does,” says UCI chemist V. Ara Apkarian (pictured), center director. “UCI is ahead of the curve. We’re starting to image the motion of molecules, and we’ve developed methods that sense motion on length scales smaller than the nucleus of an atom.”