Carbon-Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition of Hexagonal Boron Nitride
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’. h-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 micros- copy (LEEM) and diffraction (LEED) were used to map the number of layers over large areas, and Raman spectroscopy, time-of- flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy (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 by carbothermal reduction.