A group of researchers from the University of Leeds has measured the thickness of gold at 0.47 nanometers, a million times thinner than a human nail, or what are two atoms thick, approximately, confirming that we are facing gold without the finest support ever created.
The material it is considered 2D because it comprises only two layers of atoms that are on top of each other.
The synthesis of the gold nanolayer is carried out in an aqueous solution and begins with chlorouric acid, an inorganic substance that contains gold. It is reduced to its metallic form in the presence of a 'confining agent', a chemical that encourages gold to form like a sheet. But What's the use of something like that?
Ultrafine gold is 10 times more efficient as a catalytic substrate than the gold nanoparticles currently used, so that the material could have large-scale applications in the industrial medical devices and electronics, and also as a catalyst to accelerate chemical reactions in a variety of industrial processes.
Due to the nanoscale dimensions of gold, it appears green in the water. As the lead author of the article explains, Sunjie Ye, from the Leeds Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Group:
Not only does it open the possibility that gold can be used more efficiently in existing technologies, but it also provides a route that would allow materials scientists to develop other 2-D metals. This method could innovate in the manufacture of nanomaterials.