Role of pressure in the growth of hexagonal boron nitride thin films from ammonia-borane

Justin C. Koepke, Joshua D. Wood, Yaofeng Chen, Scott W. Schmucker, Ximeng Liu, Noel N. Chang, Lea Nienhaus, Jae Won Do, Enrique A. Carrion, Jayan Hewaparakrama, Aniruddh Rangarajan, Isha Datye, Rushabh Mehta, Richard T. Haasch, Martin Gruebele, Gregory S. Girolami, Eric Pop, Joseph W. Lyding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyze the optical, chemical, and electrical properties of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) using the precursor ammonia-borane (H3N- BH3) as a function of Ar/H2 background pressure (PTOT). Films grown at PTOT ≤ 2.0 Torr are uniform in thickness, highly crystalline, and consist solely of h-BN. At larger PTOT, with constant precursor flow, the growth rate increases, but the resulting h-BN is more amorphous, disordered, and sp3-bonded. We attribute these changes in h-BN grown at high pressure to incomplete thermolysis of the H3N-BH3 precursor from a passivated Cu catalyst. A similar increase in h-BN growth rate and amorphization is observed even at low PTOT if the H3N-BH3 partial pressure is initially greater than the background pressure PTOT at the beginning of growth. h-BN growth using the H3N-BH3 precursor reproducibly can give large-Area, crystalline h-BN thin films, provided that the total pressure is under 2.0 Torr and the precursor flux is wellcontrolled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4169-4179
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - May 22 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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