Novel 2D CaCl crystals with metallicity, room-temperature ferromagnetism, heterojunction, piezoelectricity-like property, and monovalent calcium ions
National Science Review
Under ambient conditions, the only known valence state of calcium ions is + 2, and the corresponding crystals with calcium ions are insulating and nonferromagnetic. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy, we report the direct observation of two-dimensional (2D) CaCl crystals on reduced graphene oxide (rGO) membranes, in which the calcium ions are only monovalent (i.e. +1). Remarkably, metallic rather than insulating properties are displayed by those CaCl crystals. More interestingly,
... ingly, room-temperature ferromagnetism, graphene–CaCl heterojunction, coexistence of piezoelectricity-like property and metallicity, as well as the distinct hydrogen storage and release capability of the CaCl crystals in rGO membranes are experimentally demonstrated. We note that such CaCl crystals are obtained by simply incubating rGO membranes in salt solutions below the saturated concentration, under ambient conditions. Theoretical studies suggest that the formation of those abnormal crystals is attributed to the strong cation–π interactions of the Ca cations with the aromatic rings in the graphene surfaces. Those findings show the realistically potential applications of such abnormal CaCl material with unusual electronic properties in designing novel transistors and magnetic devices, hydrogen storage, catalyzer, high-performance conducting electrodes and sensors, with a size down to atomic scale.