Metallic gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) with multilayer Au atoms are useful for plasmonic, chemical, medical, and metamaterial application. In this article, we report the opening of the bandgap in substrate-supported two-dimensional (2D) gold quantum dots (Au QDs) with monolayer Au atoms. Calculations based on density functional theory suggest that 2D Au QDs are energetically favorable over 3D Au clusters when coated on hexagonal boron nitride (BN) surfaces. Experimentally, we find that BN nanotubes (BNNTs) can be used to stabilize 2D Au QDs on their cylindrical surfaces as well as Au atoms, dimers, and trimers. The electrically insulating and optically transparent BNNTs enable the detection of the optical bandgaps of the Au QDs in the visible spectrum. We further demonstrate that the size and shapes of 2D Au QDs could be atomically trimmed and restructured by electron beam irradiation. Our results may stimulate further exploration of energetically stable, metal-based 2D semiconductors, with properties tunable atom by atom.
Bhandari, S., Hao, B., Waters, K., Lee, C. H., Idrobo, J. C., Zhang, D., … Yap, Y. K. (2019). Two-Dimensional Gold Quantum Dots with Tunable Bandgaps. ACS Nano, 13(4), 4347–4353. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b09559