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Hexagonal Boron Nitride Nanowalls Synthesized by Unbalanced RF Magnetron Sputtering

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2011

Boumédiène BenMoussa
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium
Jan D’Haen
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium IMEC vzw, Division IMOMEC, Diepenbeek, Belgium
Christian Borschel
Affiliation:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Festkörperphysik, Jena, Germany
Marc Saitner
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium
Ali Soltani
Affiliation:
Institut d’Electronique de Microélectronique et de Nanotechnologie, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Vincent Mortet
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium IMEC vzw, Division IMOMEC, Diepenbeek, Belgium
Carsten Ronning
Affiliation:
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Festkörperphysik, Jena, Germany
Marc D’Olieslaeger
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium IMEC vzw, Division IMOMEC, Diepenbeek, Belgium
Hans-Gerd Boyen
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium
Ken Haenen
Affiliation:
Hasselt University, Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Diepenbeek, Belgium IMEC vzw, Division IMOMEC, Diepenbeek, Belgium
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Abstract

A recurrent problem in the synthesis of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is contamination with oxygen and carbon, leading to possible detrimental effects on optical and electronic properties. Here it is shown that the addition of H2 to the N2/Ar mixture used during the deposition process, clearly suppresses the incorporation of these elements, reducing their combined level below 5 %. The surface morphology, assessed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), revealed the presence of h-BN nanowalls, i.e. vertically positioned 2D structures consisting out of several h-BN sheets. While Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy revealed the sp2 nature of the bonds, confirming the hexagonal nature of the nanowalls, the quasi-perfect stoichiometry of the material was evidenced by combining energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS). The dimensions and density of these walls are clearly film thickness dependent and cross-sectional TEM images confirmed the increasing level of porosity with film thickness. A dense layer of material is present at the substrate-film interface, which gradually evolves into the 2D nanowall structures.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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