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

Physical review. B, Condensed matter (Impact Factor: 3.66). 08/2010; 82:075405.

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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    ABSTRACT: The growth of large-area hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) monolayers on catalytic metal substrates is a topic of scientific and technological interest. We have used real-time microscopy during the growth process to study h-BN chemical vapor deposition (CVD) from borazine on Ru(0001) single crystals and thin films. At low borazine pressures, individual h-BN domains nucleate sparsely, grow to macroscopic dimensions, and coalescence to form a closed monolayer film. A quantitative analysis shows borazine adsorption and dissociation predominantly on Ru, with the h-BN covered areas being at least 100 times less reactive. We establish strong effects of hydrogen added to the CVD precursor gas in controlling the in-plane expansion and morphology of the growing h-BN domains. High-temperature exposure of h-BN/Ru to pure hydrogen causes the controlled edge detachment of B and N and can be used as a clean etching process for h-BN on metals.
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