Structural characterisation of a layered double hydroxide nanosheet
We report the atomic-scale structure of a Zn2Al–borate layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanosheet, as determined by reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) modelling of X-ray total scattering data. This study involves the extension of the RMC method to enable structural refinement of two-dimensional nanomaterials. The refined LDH models show the intra-layer geometry in this highly-exfoliated phase to be consistent with that observed in crystalline analogues, with the reciprocal-space scattering data suggesting a disordered arrangement of the Zn2+ and Al3+ cations within the nanosheet. The approach we develop is generalisable and so offers a method of characterising the structures of arbitrary nanosheet phases, including systems that support complex forms of disorder within the nanosheets themselves.