GOLDENE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     6th May 2024        

Context: For the first time, researchers have created a free-standing sheet of gold that is only one atom thick.


  • About: It stands out as the first free-standing 2D metal, distinct from previous gold sheets integrated with other materials.

oCreating ‘goldene’, a one-atom thick material, posed significant challenges for scientists at Sweden’s Linkoping University.

  • Evolution of 2D Materials: Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, scientists have identified numerous 2D materials with unique properties.
  • Synthesis Method: Researchers used a sandwich structure of silicon and titanium carbide, with gold deposition and subsequent etching to create goldene.
  • Synthesis Technique: The etching process utilized Murakami’s reagent, a chemical technique inspired by traditional Japanese sword-making.
  • Features: Goldene sheets are estimated to be around 100 nanometres thick, significantly thinner than commercially available gold leaf.


  • Electronics Industry: Scientists view goldene as more than just a scientific curiosity; it's seen as a potential game-changer for the electronics industry due to its unique properties.
  • Economic Viability: Goldene offers economic advantages over thicker gold due to its efficiency in catalytic functions, requiring fewer gold atoms for the same purpose.
  • Metallic Objects: The technique used to create goldene could potentially be applied to other metallic objects, expanding its utility beyond gold.
  • Special Properties: Goldene's unique structure, with each gold atom having only six neighboring atoms, hints at special properties that could be harnessed for various applications, such as carbon dioxide conversion, hydrogen generation, and water purification.