Friday, May 24, 2024

Scientists developed a sheet of gold that’s only one atom thick


Meet graphene’s latest metallic cousin, goldene. For the primary time, researchers have created a free-standing sheet of gold that’s just one atom thick.

The event, reported within the April 16 Nature Synthesis, may sometime permit scientists to make use of much less gold in electronics and chemical reactions, says supplies physicist Lars Hultman of Linköping College in Sweden. The gold sheet might also exhibit exotic properties like these present in different two-dimensional supplies (SN: 10/2/19).

Goldene holds promise as “an ideal catalyst as a result of it’s far more economically viable” than thicker, three-dimensional gold, Hultman says. “You don’t want as many gold atoms to get the identical operate.”

Gold joins a rarefied group consisting of a number of parts, together with carbon and phosphorus, which have been formulated into 2-D sheets (SN: 3/10/14). Whereas two-dimensional sheets of nonmetal parts — akin to carbon-based graphene — might be ready with relative ease, making 2-D sheets with metals akin to iron and gold is tougher, Hultman says (SN: 1/17/18). In gold’s case, atoms are likely to type clumps quite than flat sheets.

Hultman and colleagues first made a three-dimensional materials referred to as titanium gold carbide, whose construction comprises two-dimensional sheets of gold. Then they etched off the encompassing materials with a potassium-based resolution, leaving goldene behind.

“The excellent news was that we have been releasing goldene,” Hultman says. “The unhealthy information was that because the goldene was freed, it began to curve up on itself like a scroll.” Retaining the goldene sheets flat required the workforce so as to add a surfactant to the etching resolution wherein the sheets floated.

The workforce hopes to use the same etching technique to make 2-D sheets of different metals like iridium and platinum, says coauthor Shun Kashiwaya, a supplies scientist at Linköping College.

Skyler Ware was the 2023 AAAS Mass Media Fellow with Science Information. She has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech, the place she studied chemical reactions that use or create electrical energy.

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