Structure engineering is essential for manipulating the chemical, electrical, and optical properties of Au. However, it is challenging to design nanoscopic structures because no effective method is available to deviate from the intrinsic evolution behavior during and after synthesis via vapor deposition. Here, we propose an approach that utilizes the oxidation-induced clustering and layering of Au due to the strong O interference at the outmost surfaces of nanoscopic Au geometries. This promotes the evolution of Au clusters and layers that are highly wetted on their oxide supports. A 4-nm-thick epitaxial Au layer eventually evolved from the proposed growth mode, simultaneously exhibiting higher optical transparency than Ag, a near-bulk resistivity of 8 × 10−8 Ω m, and extreme resilience to chemical corrosion and mechanical deformation. This result provides a definite solution to transparent metal electrodes that are highly vulnerable to degradation in ambient and working environments.
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