Nanomesh

The nanomesh is an inorganic nanostructured two-dimensional material, similar to graphene. It was discovered in 2003 at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.[1]

Perspective view of nanomesh, whose structure ends at the back of the figure. The distance between two pore centers is 3.2nm, and the pores are 0.05nm deep.

It consists of a single layer of boron (B) and nitrogen (N) atoms, which forms by self-assembly into a highly regular mesh after high-temperature exposure of a clean rhodium[1] or ruthenium[2] surface to borazine under ultra-high vacuum.

The nanomesh looks like an assembly of hexagonal pores[3] (see right image) at the nanometer (nm) scale. The distance between two pore centers is only 3.2 nm, whereas each pore has a diameter of about 2 nm and is 0.05 nm deep. The lowest regions bind strongly to the underlying metal, while the wires[3] (highest regions) are only bound to the surface through strong cohesive forces within the layer itself.

The boron nitride nanomesh is not only stable under vacuum,[1] air[4] and some liquids,[5][6] but also up to temperatures of 796 °C (1070 K).[1] In addition it shows the extraordinary ability to trap molecules[5] and metallic clusters,[2] which have similar sizes to the nanomesh pores, forming a well-ordered array. These characteristics may provide applications of the material in areas like, surface functionalisation, spintronics, quantum computing and data storage media like hard drives.


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