Lately, researchers have been on a spree forming new 2-D materials with non-conventional crystal structures.
The final product, which is the hexagonal salt is only a thin film which was formed over a layer of diamond.
It was the simulations’ prediction of a hexagonal thin film that prompted the researchers to carry out an experimental study to synthesize the predicted hexagonal NaCl.
The film was only able to sustain the hexagonal structure until a thickness of 6 nanometres.
Any more than that and the film reverted to its original structure, which for NaCl is cubic rather than hexagonal.