Synthesis of Self-Assembled Single Atomic Layer Gold Crystals-Goldene

Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Renu Pasricha, James Weston, Thomas Blanton, Ramesh Jagannathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report, for the first time, a technique to synthesize free-standing, one-atom thick 2D gold crystals (namely, goldene) and self-assembled 2D periodic arrays of goldene. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) imaging of goldene revealed herringbone and honeycomb lattices, which are primarily gold surface features due to its reconstruction. Imaging of these surface-only features by a nonsurface characterization technique such as HRTEM is an unequivocal proof of the absence of three-dimensionality in goldene. Atomic force microscopy confirmed 1-2 Å thickness of goldene. High-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS), selective area electron diffraction, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the chemical identity of goldene. We discovered the phenomenon of electric field-induced self-assembly of goldene supracrystals with a herringbone structure and developed an electric field printing (e-print) technique for goldene arrays. Goldene showed a semiconductor response with a knee voltage of ∼3.2 V, and I/V spectroscopy revealed periodic room temperature Coulomb blockade oscillations. These observations are consistent with the theoretical calculations reported in the literature predicting enhanced Coulombic interactions between gold valence electrons and the nucleus in stable 2D gold. Goldene exhibited multiple, intense, and well-resolved optical absorption peaks and several fine bands across the UV-vis region, and we calculated its optical band gap to be 3.59 eV. Magnetic force microscopy measurements of goldene periodic arrays showed a ∼5 mV peak amplitude confirming its ferromagnetism. Optical and magnetic properties of goldene are consistent with those reported in the literature for 2D planar gold clusters with less than 12 atoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54992-55003
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 14 2022


  • 2D materials
  • atomic force microscopy
  • goldene
  • high resolution-X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • magnetic force microscopy
  • one-atom thick gold
  • self-assembly
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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