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Fluorinating Hexagonal Boron Nitride into Diamond-Like Nanofilms with Tunable Band Gap and Ferromagnetism
journal contributionposted on 2011-09-21, 00:00 authored by Zhuhua Zhang, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Wanlin Guo
Cubic boron nitride (c-BN) possesses a number of extreme properties rivaling or surpassing those of diamond. Especially, owing to the high chemical stability, c-BN is desired for fabricating electronic devices that can stand up to harsh environments. However, realization of c-BN-based functional devices is still a challenging task due largely to the subtlety in the preparation of high-quality c-BN films with uniform thickness and controllable properties. Here, we present a simple synthetic strategy by surface fluorination of few-layered hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) sheets to produce thermodynamically favorable F-terminated c-BN nanofilms with an embedded N–N bond layer and strong inbuilt electric polarization. Due to these specific features, the fluorinated c-BN nanofilms have controllable band gap by thickness or inbuilt and applied electric fields. Especially, the produced nanofilms can be tuned into substantial ferromagnetism through electron doping within a reasonable level. The electron-doping-induced deformation ratio of the c-BN nanofilms is found to be 1 order of magnitude higher than those of carbon nanotubes and graphene. At sufficient high doping levels, the nanofilm can be cleaved peculiarly along the N–N bond layer into diamond-like BN films. As the proposed synthesis strategy of the fluorinated c-BN nanofilms is well within the reach of current technologies, our results represent an extremely cost-effective approach for producing high-quality c-BN nanofilms with tunable electronic, magnetic, and electromechanical properties for versatile applications.