Simulations suggest a liquid phase in atomically thin gold islands that patch small pores of graphene

Scientists at the Nanoscience Center at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland ran computer simulations that predict a liquid phase in atomically thin golden islands that patch small pores of graphene. According to the simulations, gold atoms flow and change places in the plane, while the surrounding graphene template retains the planarity of liquid membrane.

Liquid phase of 2D materials was considered impossible since the thermal atomic motion required for molten materials easily breaks the thin and fragile membrane. The liquid phase was predicted by computer simulations using quantum-mechanical models and nanostructures with tens or hundreds of gold atoms. The role of graphene is in setting the circular frame and the liquid state is possible when the edge of a graphene pore stretches the metallic membrane and keeps it steady.

Currently the liquid state exists only in computers and is awaiting experimental confirmation. Moreover, simulations suggest that the flat liquid is volatile and the liquid membrane might burst very easily. 


Posted: May 26,2015 by Roni Peleg