Synthesis of monolayer hexagonal boron nitride on Cu foil using chemical vapor deposition

Ki Kang Kim, Allen Hsu, Xiaoting Jia, Soo Min Kim, Yumeng Shi, Mario Hofmann, Daniel Nezich, Joaquin F. Rodriguez-Nieva, Mildred Dresselhaus, Tomas Palacios, Jing Kong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1057 Scopus citations


Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is very attractive for many applications, particularly, as protective coating, dielectric layer/substrate, transparent membrane, or deep ultraviolet emitter. In this work, we carried out a detailed investigation of h-BN synthesis on Cu substrate using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with two heating zones under low pressure (LP). Previous atmospheric pressure (AP) CVD syntheses were only able to obtain few layer h-BN without a good control on the number of layers. In contrast, under LPCVD growth, monolayer h-BN was synthesized and time-dependent growth was investigated. It was also observed that the morphology of the Cu surface affects the location and density of the h-BN nucleation. Ammonia borane is used as a BN precursor, which is easily accessible and more stable under ambient conditions than borazine. The h-BN films are characterized by atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy analyses. Our results suggest that the growth here occurs via surface-mediated growth, which is similar to graphene growth on Cu under low pressure. These atomically thin layers are particularly attractive for use as atomic membranes or dielectric layers/substrates for graphene devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Hexagonal boron nitride
  • ammonia borane
  • chemical vapor deposition
  • copper foil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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