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Synthesis and pressure study of bubbles in hexagonal boron nitride interlayer

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## Synthesis and pressure study of bubbles in hexagonal boron nitride interlayer

Jiang Cheng-Xin, Chen Ling-Xiu, Wang Hui-Shan, Wang Xiu-Jun, Chen Chen, Wang Hao-Min, Xie Xiao-Ming
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• ### Abstract

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is considered as an ideal substrate material for new electronic devices and nano-electromechanical (NEMS) devices, owing to its hexagonal network lattice structure and high chemical and mechanical stability. It can be used to seal gas with a long-term stability, and then has a big potential in further applications in electronics and NEMS. Recently, researchers have discovered that hydrogen atoms can penetrate multiple layers of h-BN non-destructively, forming the bubbles between layers, which can be used as NEMS devices. In this article, we investigate the effect of hydrogen plasma treatment duration on the size of h-BN bubbles. It is found that the size of bubbles becomes larger with the increase of treatment time while their distribution density decreases. It is also observed that the prepared h-BN bubbles have similar morphological characteristics, which are related to Young’s modulus of h-BN and interlayer van der Waals interaction. With the help of force-displacement curve measurement, it is obtained that the internal pressure is about 1—2 MPa for micro-sized bubbles, while the internal pressure of nano-sized bubbles can reach a value of GPa.

### Authors and contacts

###### Corresponding author: Wang Hao-Min, hmwang@mail.sim.ac.cn
• Funds: Project supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFF0206106), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51772317, 91964102), the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB30000000), the Shanghai “Super Postdoctor” Program, and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 2019T120366, 2019M651620)

### Cited By

• 图 1  h-BN气泡的典型AFM形貌图像　(a) 具有不同尺寸以及不同分布密集程度的h-BN纳米气泡形貌图像(标尺: 1 μm); (b), (c) 分别是图(a)中红色和橙色线框区域的放大AFM测量形貌图; 所有形貌图像共享右侧的标尺

Figure 1.  Typical AFM images of h-BN bubbles: (a) Topography of h-BN bubbles in different size and distribution density. Scale bar, 1 μm; (b), (c) AFM images taken from the red and orange box in panel (a) respectively. The scale of height sits on the right.

图 2  氢等离子体处理不同时间后h-BN气泡分布情况　(a)−(c) 氢等离子体处理60, 90和120 min时, h-BN表面的气泡情况(标尺: 2 μm), 图(a)和图(b)中的插图分别是对应处理时间的单个气泡的AFM形貌图像, 图(a)插图的标尺为50 nm, 图(b)插图的标尺为400 nm; (d) 图(a)和图(b)的插图以及图(c)的气泡截面轮廓, 柱状图部分是在不同处理时间下气泡平均高度的统计

Figure 2.  Distribution of h-BN bubbles after hydrogen plasma treatment for different treatment duration. (a)−(c) AFM images of the h-BN bubbles after treated for 60, 90 and 120 min. Scale bar: 2 μm. The inserts in (a) and (b) are the AFM topography images of a single bubble corresponding to the processing time. The scale bar is 50 nm for insert in (a) and 400 nm for the insert in (b). (d) Cross-sectional profiles of bubbles in inserts of panels (a) and (b) and panel (c). The histogram part is the average bubble height under different processing times according to statistics.

图 3  气泡特征尺寸的统计分析　(a) 对不同半径气泡的尺寸比统计结果, 插图是h-BN气泡的结构示意图; (b) 具有不同尺寸比的气泡数量统计, 可以发现h-BN气泡的尺寸比集中在0.092附近, 橙色点代表气泡的尺寸比与0.092的偏差, 整体偏差值在10%范围以内(绿色区域)

Figure 3.  Characteristic analysis of bubbles. (a) Statistical results of size ratios hmax/R of bubbles with different radius. The inset is a schematic diagram of the h-BN bubble structure. (b) Statistics of bubble numbers with different size ratios. It can be found that the size ratio of h-BN bubbles is concentrated around 0.092. The orange point represents the deviation of the bubble size ratio from 0.092, and the overall deviation value is within 10% (green area).

图 4  h-BN气泡内压强的分析　(a) 通过AFM测得的不同尺寸的h-BN气泡的力-位移曲线, 随着探针下压深度的增加, 所需的力也随之增大, 不同尺寸气泡的力-位移曲线表现出不同的斜率; (b) 从实际测得的力-位移数据中提取的vdW压强随探针下压深度的关系, 虚线为对应数据组的线性拟合结果; (c) vdW压强与气泡最大高度hmax的关系图, 实线部分是针对1/hmax的非线性拟合结果

Figure 4.  Pressure analysis inside h-BN bubbles. (a) Force-displacement curves of the bubbles with different sizes are measured by AFM, which shows the force increases while the tip goes deeper. The FDCs of different-sized bubbles have diverse slopes. (b) vdW pressure inside bubbles extracted from the experimental data in panel (a) as a function of the indentation depth. Dashed lines are linear fits. (c) vdW pressure as a function of ${h}_{\max}$, the solid line is fitted to ${1/h}_{\max}$.

图 5  在短时间氢等离子体处理下得到的小尺寸气泡　 (a) 小尺寸气泡的分布情况(标尺: 150 nm); (b) 图(a)中标有数字记号的小气泡截面轮廓图

Figure 5.  Small size bubbles obtained under short-time hydrogen plasma treatment: (a) The distribution of small size bubbles, the size scale is 150 nm; (b) the cross-sectional profile view of the small bubbles marked with numbers in panel (a).

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• Abstract views:  2952
• Cited By: 0
##### Publishing process
• Received Date:  06 September 2020
• Accepted Date:  08 November 2020
• Available Online:  02 March 2021
• Published Online:  20 March 2021

## Synthesis and pressure study of bubbles in hexagonal boron nitride interlayer

###### Corresponding author: Wang Hao-Min, hmwang@mail.sim.ac.cn;
• 1. School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 200031, China
• 2. State Key Laboratory of Functional Materials for Informatics, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
• 3. College of Materials Science and Opto-Electronic Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
• 4. CAS Center for Excellence in Superconducting Electronics (CENSE), Shanghai 200050, China
Fund Project: Project supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFF0206106), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51772317, 91964102), the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB30000000), the Shanghai “Super Postdoctor” Program, and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 2019T120366, 2019M651620)

Abstract: Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is considered as an ideal substrate material for new electronic devices and nano-electromechanical (NEMS) devices, owing to its hexagonal network lattice structure and high chemical and mechanical stability. It can be used to seal gas with a long-term stability, and then has a big potential in further applications in electronics and NEMS. Recently, researchers have discovered that hydrogen atoms can penetrate multiple layers of h-BN non-destructively, forming the bubbles between layers, which can be used as NEMS devices. In this article, we investigate the effect of hydrogen plasma treatment duration on the size of h-BN bubbles. It is found that the size of bubbles becomes larger with the increase of treatment time while their distribution density decreases. It is also observed that the prepared h-BN bubbles have similar morphological characteristics, which are related to Young’s modulus of h-BN and interlayer van der Waals interaction. With the help of force-displacement curve measurement, it is obtained that the internal pressure is about 1—2 MPa for micro-sized bubbles, while the internal pressure of nano-sized bubbles can reach a value of GPa.

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