Silicon with a two-dimensional structure

Silicon, a semi-metal, bonds in its natural form with four other elements and its three-dimensional structure takes the form of a tetrahedron. For a long time, it seemed impossible to achieve the synthesis and characterisation of a two-dimensional equivalent—geometrically speaking, a square. Now scientists from the field of Inorganic Chemistry at Heidelberg University have succeeded in producing a crystalline complex with such a configuration. PD Dr. Lutz Greb from the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry underlines that it has surprising physical and chemical properties and, in the field of molecular chemistry, will open up new approaches to using the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust for catalysis and materials research.