The best known flat nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene is stable because the non-metallic element carbon prefers covalent, directional bonds that effectively cause structural planarity. Metallic bonds are less directional, whereby metals often coalesce into compact clusters. However, recent experiments suggest that, by using pores in other nanostructures, even metals can be stabilized into atomically thin planes.
Inspired by these experimental indications, researchers at the Nanoscience Center, University of Jyväskylä, used computer simulations to predict systematically the properties of atomically thin structures made exclusively from metallic elements.
Thin metal nanostructures.
Photo: Janne Nevalaita
According to the simulations, the flat metals inherit their properties predictably from conventional three-dimensional metal structures. The study appeared in Physical Review B, a journal published by the Americal Physical Society. It was selected as an Editor's suggestion and highlighted as an esteemed Physics synopsis.
The research was funded by the Academy of Finland.
University of Jyväskylä. Posted: Jan 11, 2018.