Discovery of Single-Layered Rhodium Nanosheets with Novel Chemical Bonding

  Yadong Li and co-authors from the Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University reported the fabrication of single-layered rhodium nanosheets for the first time. This work was published in Nature Communications in 17 January, 2014 (see the following URL).

  Since the discovery of graphene, research of single-layered materials stabilized by delocalized p-bonding has received considerable attention, though their preparations largely rely on the materials themselves having a lamellar structure. However, little is known about single-layered metallic structure characterized with electron delocalization, largely because metals with an fcc or hcp structure have non-directional 3D metallic bonding. Haohong Duan et al. from Yadong Li's group successfully fabricated the first rhodium nanosheets with only one-atom thickness via the reduction by formaldehyde with PVP as a mild capping agent. The single-layered structure is revealed by aberration-corrected electron microscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Quantum chemistry studies performed by Jun Li's group at Tsinghua University reveal that the single-layered rhodium sheet involves a unique d (delta)-bonding framework that stabilizes the single-layered structure. This work represents an important advance in metallic nano and cluster science and in theory of chemical bonding of heavy metals, thus inspiring further fundamental development in synthesis of other single-layered metal nanosheets.

  The research is sponsored by the State Key Project of Fundamental Research for Nanoscience (2011CB932401, 2011CBA00500) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (21221062, 21390393).