New research opening for atomically thin metal nanostructures

January 12, 2018, University of Jyväskylä
Thin metal nanostructures. Credit: University of Jyväskylä

Researchers at the Nanoscience Center at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, have made a new opening in nanomaterial research. Opening's essence resides in the exclusive use of metallic elements in flat, atomically thin nanostructures.

The best known flat nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene is stable because the non-metallic 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 .

"We made a new opening in material research, which was basic research, but highly rewarding as such," says postdoctoral researcher Janne Nevalaita. "One could say that we hit on an untouched estate, bulldozed it and created a foundation. Now others can build solid scientific structures based on that foundation," he continues.

According to the simulations, the flat metals inherit their properties predictably from conventional three-dimensional 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.

Explore further: Simulations predict flat liquid

More information: Janne Nevalaita et al. Atlas for the properties of elemental two-dimensional metals, Physical Review B (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.97.035411

Related Stories

Atomically thick metal membranes

March 14, 2014

For the first time researchers have shown that freestanding metal membranes consisting of a single layer of atoms can be stable under ambient conditions. This result of an international research team from Germany, Poland ...

Is there structure in glass disorder?

December 13, 2017

Stronger than steel yet easily fabricated, bulk metallic glasses are metals that lack an ordered atomic crystalline structure. The mystery of how the atoms are packed in these glasses has been studied for decades. Now, recent ...

Graphene forged into three-dimensional shapes

September 26, 2017

Researchers from Finland and Taiwan have discovered how graphene, a single-atom-thin layer of carbon, can be forged into three-dimensional objects by using laser light. A striking illustration was provided when the researchers ...

Shaping atomically thin materials in suspended structures

June 13, 2016

Researchers at Tohoku University have realized wafer-scale and high yield synthesis of suspended graphene nanoribbons. The unique growth dynamic has been elucidated through comparing experiments, molecular dynamics simulations ...

Recommended for you

Optical nanoscope images quantum dots

January 23, 2018

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together ...

Quantum dot ring lasers emit colored light

January 22, 2018

Researchers have designed a new type of laser called a quantum dot ring laser that emits red, orange, and green light. The different colors are emitted from different parts of the quantum dot—red from the core, green from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.