Sustainable existence of solid mercury (Hg) nanoparticles at room temperature and their applications†
Although liquid mercury (Hg) has been known since antiquity, the formation of stable solid nano forms of Hg at room temperature has not been reported so far. Here, for the first time, we report a simple sonochemical route to obtain solid mercury nanoparticles, stabilized by reduced graphene oxide at ambient conditions. The as-formed solid Hg nanoparticles were found to exhibit remarkable rhombohedral morphology and crystallinity at room temperature. Extensive characterization using various physicochemical techniques revealed the unique properties of the solid nanoparticles of Hg compared to its bulk liquid metal phase. Furthermore, the solid nature of the Hg nanoparticles was studied electrochemically, revealing distinctive properties. We believe that solid Hg nanoparticles have the potential for important applications in the fields of electroanalytical chemistry and electrocatalysis.