Almost perfect hybrid "white graphene" material could make various fuel cells paper thin and transparent

12/09/2015 - 19:51

Ron Walli

A new era of electronics and even quantum devices could be ushered in with the fabrication of a virtually perfect single layer of “white graphene,” according to researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The material, technically known as hexagonal boron nitride, features better transparency than its sister, graphene, is chemically inert, or non-reactive, and atomically smooth. It also features high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity.


Ref: Synthesis of Hexagonal Boron Nitride Monolayer: Control of Nucleation and Crystal Morphology. Chemistry of Materials (10 November 2015) | DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b03607


Monolayer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) attracts significant attention due to the potential to be used as a complementary two-dimensional dielectric in fabrication of functional 2D heterostructures. Here we investigate the growth stages of the hBN single crystals and show that hBN crystals change their shape from triangular to truncated triangular and further to hexagonal depending on copper substrate distance from the precursor. We suggest that the observed hBN crystal shape variation is affected by the ratio of boron to nitrogen active species concentrations on the copper surface inside the CVD reactor. Strong temperature dependence reveals the activation energies for the hBN nucleation process of ∼5 eV and crystal growth of ∼3.5 eV. We also show that the resulting h-BN film morphology is strongly affected by the heating method of borazane precursor and the buffer gas. Elucidation of these details facilitated synthesis of high quality large area monolayer hexagonal boron nitride by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition on copper using borazane as a precursor.