Carbon-assisted chemical vapor deposition of hexagonal boron nitride

Ariel Ismach, Harry Chou, Patrick Mende, Andrei Dolocan, Rafik Addou, Shaul Aloni, Robert Wallace, Randall Feenstra, Rodney S. Ruoff, Luigi Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that in a low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system, the residual oxygen and/ or air play a crucial role in the mechanism of the growth of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) films on Ni foil ‘enclosures’. Hexagonal-BN films grow on the Ni foil surface via the formation of an intermediate boric-oxide (BOx) phase followed by a thermal reduction of the BOx by a carbon source (either amorphous carbon powder or methane), leading to the formation of single- and bi-layer h-BN. Low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and diffraction (LEED) were used to map the number of layers over large areas; Raman spectroscopy, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) were used to characterize the structure and physical quality of the ultra-thin h-BN film. The growth procedure reported here leads to a better understanding and control of the synthesis of ultra-thin h-BN films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025117
Journal2D Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Carbothermal reduction
  • Chemical vapor deposition
  • Hexagonal boron nitride
  • LEEM
  • Surface oxidation


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