Penn State researchers, in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Oak Ridge National Lab, have developed an atomically thin materials platform developed that could enable a range of new applications in biomolecular sensing, quantum phenomena, catalysis and nonlinear optics.
A single atomic layer of metal is capped by a layer of graphene, allowing for new layered materials with unique properties. Image: Yihuang Xiong/Penn State
“We have leveraged our understanding of a special type of graphene, dubbed epitaxial graphene, to stabilize unique forms of atomically thin metals,” said Natalie Briggs, a doctoral candidate and co-lead author on a paper in the journal Nature Materials. “Interestingly, these atomically thin metals stabilize in structures that are completely different from their bulk versions, and thus have very interesting properties compared to what is expected in bulk metals.”