Oxidising and carburising catalyst conditioning for the controlled growth and transfer of large crystal monolayer hexagonal boron nitride
Abstract: Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is well-established as a requisite support, encapsulant and barrier for 2D material technologies, but also recently as an active material for applications ranging from hyperbolic metasurfaces to room temperature single-photon sources. Cost-effective, scalable and high quality growth techniques for h-BN layers are critically required. We utilise widely-available iron foils for the catalytic chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of h-BN and report on the significant role of bulk dissolved species in h-BN CVD, and specifically, the balance between dissolved oxygen and carbon. A simple pre-growth conditioning step of the iron foils enables us to tailor an error-tolerant scalable CVD process to give exceptionally large h-BN monolayer domains. We also develop a facile method for the improved transfer of as-grown h-BN away from the iron surface by means of the controlled humidity oxidation and subsequent rapid etching of a thin interfacial iron oxide; thus, avoiding the impurities from the bulk of the foil. We demonstrate wafer-scale (2″) production and utilise this h-BN as a protective layer for graphene towards integrated (opto-)electronic device fabrication.
Funder: H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions; doi: https://doi.org/10.13039/100010665
National Physical Laboratory (121452)
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (1851)
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (785219)