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Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 2016, 55(10), 3382-3386

Layered Black Phosphorus: Strongly Anisotropic Magnetic, Electronic, and Electron-Transfer Properties

Layered elemental materials, such as black phosphorus, exhibit unique properties originating from their highly anisotropic layered structure. The results presented herein demonstrate an anomalous anisotropy for the electrical, magnetic, and electrochemical properties of black phosphorus. It is shown that heterogeneous electron transfer from black phosphorus to outer- and inner-sphere molecular probes is highly anisotropic. The electron-transfer rates differ at the basal and edge planes. These unusual properties were interpreted by means of calculations, manifesting the metallic character of the edge planes as compared to the semiconducting properties of the basal plane. This indicates that black phosphorus belongs to a group of materials known as topological insulators. Consequently, these effects render the magnetic properties highly anisotropic, as both diamagnetic and paramagnetic behavior can be observed depending on the orientation in the magnetic field.

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