Synthesis and characterization of bulk single crystal hexagonal boron nitride from metal solvents

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dc.contributor.author Clubine, Benjamin
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-24T20:41:18Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-24T20:41:18Z
dc.date.issued 2012-04-24
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/13639
dc.description.abstract Boron nitride is a purely synthetic material that has been known for over 150 years but only recently has sparked interest as a semiconductor material due to its potential in ultraviolet lasing and neutron detection. Thin-layer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is probably most attractive as a complementary material to graphene during its intense research endeavors. But for hBN to be successful in the realm of semiconductor technology, methods for growing large single crystals are critical, and its properties need to be accurately determined. In this study, hBN crystals were grown from metal solvents. The effects of soak temperature, soak time, source materials and their proportions on hBN crystal size and properties were investigated. The largest crystals of hBN measured five millimeters across and about 30 micrometers thick by precipitation from BN powder dissolved in a nickel-chromium solvent at 1700°C. High temperatures promoted outward growth of the crystal along the a-axis, whereas low temperatures promoted growth along the c-axis. Crystal growth at high temperatures also caused bulk hBN to adopt a triangular habit rather than a hexagonal one. A previously unreported method of synthesizing hBN was proven successful by substituting BN powder with elemental boron and a nitrogen ambient. XRD and Raman spectroscopy confirmed hBN from solution growth to be highly crystalline, with an 8.0 cm[superscript]-1 FWHM of the Raman peak being the narrowest reported. Photoluminescence spectra exhibited peaks mid-gap and near the band edge, suggesting impurities and defects in the hBN samples. However, high-purity reactants and post-growth annealing showed promise for synthesizing semiconductor-grade hBN. Several etchants were explored for defect-selective etching of hBN. A molten eutectic mixture of KOH/NaOH was the most effective defect-selective etchant of hBN at temperatures of 430-450°C for about one minute. The two prevalent hexagonal etch pit morphologies observed were deep, pointed-bottom pits and shallow, flat-bottom pits. TEM and SAED confirmed basal plane twists and dislocations in hBN crystals, but due to the highly anisotropic nature of hBN, their existence may be inevitable no matter the growth technique. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation; Department of Homeland Security en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject hexagonal boron nitride en_US
dc.subject bulk crystal growth en_US
dc.title Synthesis and characterization of bulk single crystal hexagonal boron nitride from metal solvents en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Science en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department Department of Chemical Engineering en_US
dc.description.advisor James H. Edgar en_US
dc.subject.umi Chemical Engineering (0542) en_US
dc.subject.umi Materials Science (0794) en_US
dc.date.published 2012 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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