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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071119

High-Temperature Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Hexagonal Boron Nitride with High Active Nitrogen Fluxes

1
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
2
School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue III-Nitrides Semiconductor Research in the UK and Ireland)
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Abstract

Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) has attracted a great deal of attention as a key component in van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures, and as a wide band gap material for deep-ultraviolet devices. We have recently demonstrated plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PA-MBE) of hBN layers on substrates of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite at high substrate temperatures of ~1400 °C. The current paper will present data on the high-temperature PA-MBE growth of hBN layers using a high-efficiency radio-frequency (RF) nitrogen plasma source. Despite more than a three-fold increase in nitrogen flux with this new source, we saw no significant increase in the growth rates of the hBN layers, indicating that the growth rate of hBN layers is controlled by the boron arrival rate. The hBN thickness increases to 90 nm with decrease in the growth temperature to 1080 °C. However, the decrease in the MBE temperature led to a deterioration in the optical properties of the hBN. The optical absorption data indicates that an increase in the active nitrogen flux during the PA-MBE process improves the optical properties of hBN and suppresses defect related optical absorption in the energy range 5.0–5.5 eV. View Full-Text
Keywords: UKNC; III-nitrides; nanostructures; MBE; hexagonal boron nitride UKNC; III-nitrides; nanostructures; MBE; hexagonal boron nitride
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Cheng, T.S.; Summerfield, A.; Mellor, C.J.; Khlobystov, A.N.; Eaves, L.; Foxon, C.T.; Beton, P.H.; Novikov, S.V. High-Temperature Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Hexagonal Boron Nitride with High Active Nitrogen Fluxes. Materials 2018, 11, 1119.

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