Scientists just created the world's thinnest gold and it's two atoms thick

This gold nanosheet is just two atoms thick. It has been artificially colored.

(CNN)The newest form of gold created in a lab is the thickness of two atoms, according to a new study. It's only 0.47 nanometers thick, which is one million times thinner than a human finger nail.

Researchers are calling it gold nanoseaweed because of its shape.
The study published Tuesday in the journal Advanced Science.
    This makes it the thinnest unsupported gold ever created and it could be used in electronics and medical devices going forward.
    The gold is made up of two layers of atoms stacked on top of each other. But don't let the thin structure fool you. Researchers say it's 10 times more efficient than gold nanoparticles that are currently used.
    The difference is that current gold nanoparticles are 3D and the atoms comprise the bulk. The new gold is 2D and only contains surface atoms without any bulk atoms in between them.
    Gold has many uses, and the newest ultra-thin gold could be the foundation of artificial enzymes used in rapid medical diagnostic tests and even purification systems for water.
    The gold nanosheet forms lattice-like patterns.
    Previously, research has demonstrated that gold can accelerate chemical reactions. Gold is attractive because it resists corrosion, has high electrical conductivity and doesn't contain the same harmful side effects as platinum when used in medical applications or drug delivery.
    "This work amounts to a landmark achievement," said Sunjie Ye, study author and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds' Molecular and Nanoscale Physics group. "Not only does it open up the possibility that gold can be used more efficiently in existing technologies, it is providing a route which would allow material scientists to develop other 2D metals. This method could innovate nanomaterial manufacturing."