Direct band-gap crossover in epitaxial monolayer boron nitride.
ABSTRACT: Hexagonal boron nitride is a large band-gap insulating material which complements the electronic and optical properties of graphene and the transition metal dichalcogenides. However, the intrinsic optical properties of monolayer boron nitride remain largely unexplored. In particular, the theoretically expected crossover to a direct-gap in the limit of the single monolayer is presently not confirmed experimentally. Here, in contrast to the technique of exfoliating few-layer 2D hexagonal boron nitride, we exploit the scalable approach of high-temperature molecular beam epitaxy to grow high-quality monolayer boron nitride on graphite substrates. We combine deep-ultraviolet photoluminescence and reflectance spectroscopy with atomic force microscopy to reveal the presence of a direct gap of energy 6.1?eV in the single atomic layers, thus confirming a crossover to direct gap in the monolayer limit.
Project description:Assessing atomic defect states and their ramifications on the electronic properties of two-dimensional van der Waals semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (SC-TMDs) is the primary task to expedite multi-disciplinary efforts in the promotion of next-generation electrical and optical device applications utilizing these low-dimensional materials. Here, with electron tunneling and optical spectroscopy measurements with density functional theory, we spectroscopically locate the mid-gap states from chalcogen-atom vacancies in four representative monolayer SC-TMDs-WS2, MoS2, WSe2, and MoSe2-, and carefully analyze the similarities and dissimilarities of the atomic defects in four distinctive materials regarding the physical origins of the missing chalcogen atoms and the implications to SC-mTMD properties. In addition, we address both quasiparticle and optical energy gaps of the SC-mTMD films and find out many-body interactions significantly enlarge the quasiparticle energy gaps and excitonic binding energies, when the semiconducting monolayers are encapsulated by non-interacting hexagonal boron nitride layers.
Project description:Graphene-boron nitride monolayer heterostructures contain adjacent electrically active and insulating regions in a continuous, single-atom thick layer. To date structures were grown at low pressure, resulting in irregular shapes and edge direction, so studies of the graphene-boron nitride interface were restricted to the microscopy of nanodomains. Here we report templated growth of single crystalline hexagonal boron nitride directly from the oriented edge of hexagonal graphene flakes by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition, and physical property measurements that inform the design of in-plane hybrid electronics. Ribbons of boron nitride monolayer were grown from the edge of a graphene template and inherited its crystallographic orientation. The relative sharpness of the interface was tuned through control of growth conditions. Frequent tearing at the graphene-boron nitride interface was observed, so density functional theory was used to determine that the nitrogen-terminated interface was prone to instability during cool down. The electronic functionality of monolayer heterostructures was demonstrated through fabrication of field effect transistors with boron nitride as an in-plane gate dielectric.
Project description:Remarkable improvements in both structural and optical properties of wafer-scale hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) films grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) enabled by high-temperature post-growth annealing is presented. The enhanced crystallinity and homogeneity of the MOCVD-grown h-BN films grown at 1050?°C is attributed to the solid-state atomic rearrangement during the thermal annealing at 1600?°C. In addition, the appearance of the photoluminescence by excitonic transitions as well as enlarged optical band gap were observed for the post-annealed h-BN films as direct consequences of the microstructural improvement. The post-growth annealing is a very promising strategy to overcome limited crystallinity of h-BN films grown by typical MOCVD systems while maintaining their advantage of multiple wafer scalability for practical applications towards two-dimensional electronics and optoelectronics.
Project description:We demonstrate direct epitaxial growth of high-quality hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) layers on graphite using high-temperature plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Atomic force microscopy reveals mono- and few-layer island growth, while conducting atomic force microscopy shows that the grown hBN has a resistance which increases exponentially with the number of layers, and has electrical properties comparable to exfoliated hBN. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman microscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements on hBN confirm the formation of sp2-bonded hBN and a band gap of 5.9?±?0.1?eV with no chemical intermixing with graphite. We also observe hexagonal moiré patterns with a period of 15?nm, consistent with the alignment of the hBN lattice and the graphite substrate.
Project description:High-intensity ultrasound exfoliation of a bulk-layered material is an attractive route for large-scale preparation of monolayers. The monolayer slices could potentially be prepared with a high yield (up to 100%) in a few minutes. Exfoliation of natural minerals (such as tungstenite and molybdenite) or bulk synthetic materials (including hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), hexagonal boron carbon nitride (h-BCN), and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4)) in liquids leads to the breakdown of the 3D graphitic structure into a 2D structure; the efficiency of this process is highly dependent upon the physical effects of the ultrasound. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) were employed to verify the quality of the exfoliation. Herein, this new method of exfoliation with ultrasound assistance for application to mono- and bilayered materials in hydrophobic and hydrophilic environments is presented.
Project description:Direct visualization of nanometer-scale properties of moiré superlattices in van der Waals heterostructure devices is a critically needed diagnostic tool for study of the electronic and optical phenomena induced by the periodic variation of atomic structure in these complex systems. Conventional imaging methods are destructive and insensitive to the buried device geometries, preventing practical inspection. Here we report a versatile scanning probe microscopy employing infrared light for imaging moiré superlattices of twisted bilayers graphene encapsulated by hexagonal boron nitride. We map the pattern using the scattering dynamics of phonon polaritons launched in hexagonal boron nitride capping layers via its interaction with the buried moiré superlattices. We explore the origin of the double-line features imaged and show the mechanism of the underlying effective phase change of the phonon polariton reflectance at domain walls. The nano-imaging tool developed provides a non-destructive analytical approach to elucidate the complex physics of moiré engineered heterostructures.
Project description:Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is known as promising 2D material with a wide band-gap (~6?eV). However, the growth size of h-BN film is strongly limited by the size of reaction chamber. Here, we demonstrate the large-roll synthesis of monolayer and controllable sub-monolayer h-BN film on wound Cu foil by low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) method. By winding the Cu foil substrate into mainspring shape supported by a multi-prong quartz fork, the reactor size limit could be overcome by extending the substrate area to a continuous 2D curl of plane inward. An extremely large-size monolayer h-BN film has been achieved over 25 inches in a 1.2" tube. The optical band gap of h-BN monolayer was determined to be 6.0?eV. The h-BN film was uniformly transferred onto 2" GaN or 4" Si wafer surfaces as a release buffer layer. By HVPE method, overgrowth of thick GaN wafer over 200??m has been achieved free of residual strain, which could provide high quality homo-epitaxial substrate.
Project description:A monolayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) film with controllable domain morphology and domain size (varying from less than 1??m to more than 100??m) with uniform crystalline orientation was successfully synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The key for this extremely large single crystalline domain size of a h-BN monolayer is a decrease in the density of nucleation seeds by increasing the hydrogen gas flow during the h-BN growth. Moreover, the well-defined shape of h-BN flakes can be selectively grown by controlling Cu-annealing time under argon atmosphere prior to h-BN growth, which provides the h-BN shape varies in triangular, trapezoidal, hexagonal and complex shapes. The uniform crystalline orientation of h-BN from different nucleation seeds can be easily confirmed by polarized optical microscopy (POM) with a liquid crystal coating. Furthermore, seamlessly merged h-BN flakes without structural domain boundaries were evidence by a selective hydrogen etching after a full coverage of a h-BN film was achieved. This seamless large-area and atomic monolayer of single crystalline h-BN film can offer as an ideal and practical template of graphene-based devices or alternative two-dimensional materials for industrial applications with scalability.
Project description:Hexagonal boron nitride has been proposed as an excellent candidate to achieve subwavelength infrared light manipulation owing to its polar lattice structure, enabling excitation of low-loss phonon polaritons with hyperbolic dispersion. We show that strongly subwavelength hexagonal boron nitride planar nanostructures can exhibit ultra-confined resonances and local field enhancement. We investigate strong light-matter interaction in these nanoscale structures via photo-induced force microscopy, scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, with excellent agreement with numerical simulations. We design optical nano-dipole antennas and directly image the fields when bright- or dark-mode resonances are excited. These modes are deep subwavelength, and strikingly, they can be supported by arbitrarily small structures. We believe that phonon polaritons in hexagonal boron nitride can play for infrared light a role similar to that of plasmons in noble metals at visible frequency, paving the way for a new class of efficient and highly miniaturized nanophotonic devices.
Project description:We selectively excite and study two new types of phonon-polariton guided modes that are found in hexagonal boron nitride thin flakes on a gold substrate. Such modes show substantially improved confinement and a group velocity that is hundreds of times slower than the speed of light, thereby providing a new way to create slow light in the mid-infrared range with a simple structure that does not require nano-patterning. One mode is the fundamental mode in the first Restrahlen band of hexagonal boron nitride thin crystals on a gold substrate; the other mode is equivalent to the second mode of the second Restrahlen band of hexagonal boron nitride flakes that are suspended in vacuum. The new modes also couple efficiently with incident light at the hexagonal boron nitride edges, as we demonstrate experimentally using photo-induced force microscopy and scanning near-field optical microscopy. The high confinement of these modes allows for Purcell factors that are on the order of tens of thousands directly above boron nitride and a wide band, with new perspectives for enhanced light-matter interaction. Our findings demonstrate a new approach to engineering the dispersion of polaritons in 2D materials to improve confinement and light-matter interaction, thereby paving the way for new applications in mid-infrared nano-optics.