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In 2003 M. Corso et al. from Osterwalder's group at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, published in Science [M. Corso et al., Science 303, 217 (2004)] the discovery of a new inorganic nanostructured two dimensional material, called nanomesh.

The discovered boron nitride nanomesh is composed of boron (B) and nitrogen (N) atoms, which form a highly regular mesh after high-temperature exposure of the clean rhodium to borazine . The nanomesh forms a full single BN layer, i.e. the nanomesh layer is only one atom thick, where pores are closer to the crystal surface than the wires (see right image).

The formation of the nanomesh is a self-assembly process, i.e. the organisation of the atoms is driven by the nature itself without any human intervention. The self-assembly process is likely driven due to close but different periodicities (lattice constants) of the BN nanomesh and the Rh substrate and a site dependent BN-bonding to the substrate.

The boron nitride nanomesh is stable towards air, vacuum and liquids, and it does not decompose up to temperatures of at least 796C (1070 K). In addition the BN nanomesh can serve as a template to organize molecules and clusters. These characteristics promise interesting applications of the nanomesh in areas like nanocatalysis, surface functionalisation, spintronics, quantum computing and data storage media like hard drives.
3D plot of an STM image
Perspective view of the nanomesh, which is ending at the rear of the
STM image.
By courtesy of M. Corso

| Last update: 25.03.2008 by C. Galli Marxer