APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Platform for nanoscale electronic and spintronic devices, mechanical resonators
- TEM support grids
- Thermal management
- Straightforward process
- Achieves wide band-gap semiconducting properties not found in graphene
- Yields a strong material
- Thermally highly conductive while electrically insulating
Alex Zettl of Berkeley Lab has developed a technology to produce low layer number sheets, including monolayer sheets, of hexagonal boron nitride (BN) or boron carbon nitrogen (BxCyNz). The ultrathin sheets are mechanically sound due to strong chemical bonds in layered BN.
The ability to place the sheets on a solid substrate or suspend them over frames or holes offers applications in mechanical and optical systems as well as microscopy. Further applications are possible since edge terminations of monolayer BN sheets have unusual magnetic properties useful for spintronics or sensors. Ultrathin sheets of BN are also electrically insulating, yet thermally conducting, unlike graphene.
The technology starts with an existing bulk layered material and uses a combination of mechanical exfoliation to yield low number sheets and reactive ion etching to produce monolayer sheets. The Berkeley Lab approach represents an improvement over current methods to produce very thin films, such as evaporation or sputtering onto a suitable substrate, molecular beam epitaxy or atomic layer deposition.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Alem, N., Erni, R., Kisielowski, C., Rossell, M.D., Gannett, W., Zettl, A. Atomically thin hexagonal boron nitride probed by ultrahigh-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Physical Review, B80, 155425 (2009).
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REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2788