Two-dimensional (2D) materials are promising for applications in a wide range of fields because of their unique properties. Hydrogen boride sheets, a new 2D material recently predicted from theory, exhibit intriguing electronic and mechanical properties as well as hydrogen storage capacity. Here, we report the experimental realization of 2D hydrogen boride sheets with an empirical formula of H1B1, produced by exfoliation and complete ion-exchange between protons and magnesium cations in magnesium diboride (MgB2) with an average yield of 42.3% at room temperature. The sheets feature an sp2-bonded boron planar structure without any longrange order. A hexagonal boron network with bridge hydrogens is suggested as the possible local structure, where the absence of longrange order was ascribed to the presence of three different anisotropic domains originating from the 2-fold symmetry of the hydrogen positions against the 6-fold symmetry of the boron networks, based on X-ray diffraction, X-ray atomic pair distribution functions, electron diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, photo absorption, core-level binding energy data, infrared absorption, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and density functional theory calculations. The established cation-exchange method for metal diboride opens new avenues for the mass production of several types of boron-based 2D materials by countercation selection and functionalization.
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