The excess of surface dangling bonds makes the formation of free-standing two-dimensional (2D) metals unstable and hence difficult to achieve. To date, only a few reports have demonstrated 2D metal formation over substrates. Here, we show a free-standing crystalline single-atom-thick layer of iron (Fe) using in situ low-voltage aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and supporting image simulations. First-principles calculations confirm enhanced magnetic properties for single-atom-thick 2D Fe membranes. This work could pave the way for new 2D structures to be formed in graphene membranes.
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