|Hexagonal Boron Nitride Crystal Growth from Iron, a Single Component Flux |
(Article) Publié: Acs Nano, vol. 15 p.7032-7039 (2021)
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The highest quality hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) crystals are grown from molten solutions. For hBN crystal growth at atmospheric pressure, typically the solvent is a combination of two metals, one with a high boron solubility and the other to promote nitrogen solubility. In this study, we demonstrate that high-quality hBN crystals can be grown at atmospheric pressure using pure iron as a flux. The ability to produce excellent-quality hBN crystals using pure iron as a solvent is unexpected, given its low solubility for nitrogen. The properties of crystals produced with this flux matched the best values ever reported for hBN: a narrow Raman E2g vibration peak (7.6 cm–1) and strong phonon-assisted peaks in the photoluminescence spectra. To further test their quality, the hBN crytals were used as a substrate for WSe2 epitaxy. WSe2 was deposited with a low nucleation density, indicating the low defect density of the hBN. Lastly, the carrier tunneling through our hBN thin layers (3.5 nm) follows the Fowler–Nordheim model, with a barrier height of 3.7 eV, demonstrating hBN’s superior electrical insulating properties. This ability to produce high-quality hBN crystals in such a simple, environmentally friendly and economical process will advance two-dimensional material research by enabling integrated devices.