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Epitaxial growth of hexagonal boron nitride monolayers by a three-step boration-oxidation-nitration process

ABSTRACT The formation of well-ordered monolayers of hexagonal boron nitride on the surface of a Rh/YSZ/Si(111)
multilayer substrate via a three-step boration-oxidation-nitration process was investigated by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD) and low-energy electron diffraction (LEED). The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of trimethylborate B(OCH3)3 results in a selective decomposition of the precursor, leading to a dilute distribution of boron within the interstitials of the Rh lattice. After oxidation, the layer of a boron oxygen species of about 1 nm thickness can be transformed into a hexagonal monolayer of BN by annealing in NH3 atmosphere. The results of the present study clearly show that the formation of BN monolayers is also possible when boron and nitrogen are provided successively from separate sources. This procedure represents an alternative routine for the preparation of well-ordered BN monolayers, which benefits from a strong reduction of hazardous potential and economic costs compared to the use of borazine as the current standard precursor.

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Frank Müller