[Adv. Mater.] Water‐Induced Bandgap Engineering in Nanoribbons of Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Date:2024/3/17 22:04:47

Chen Chen, Yang Hang, Hui Shan Wang, Yang Wang, Xiujun Wang, Chengxin Jiang, Yu Feng, Chenxi Liu, Eli Janzen, James H Edgar, Zhipeng Wei, Wanlin Guo, Weida Hu, Zhuhua Zhang, Haomin Wang, Xiaoming Xie

Advanced Materials  ,  35, 362303198 2023.


Abstract: Different from hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) sheets, the bandgap of hBN nanoribbons (BNNRs) can be changed by spatial/electrostatic confinement. It is predicted that a transverse electric field can narrow the bandgap and even cause an insulator–metal transition in BNNRs. However, experimentally introducing an overhigh electric field across the BNNR remains challenging. Here, it is theoretically and experimentally demonstrated that water adsorption greatly reduces the bandgap of zigzag-oriented BNNRs (zBNNRs). Ab initio calculations show that water molecules can be favorably assembled within the trench between two adjacent BNNRs to form a polar ice layer, which induces a transverse equivalent electric field of over 2 V nm−1 accounting for the bandgap reduction. Field-effect transistors are successfully fabricated from zBNNRs with different widths. The conductance of water-adsorbed zBNNRs can be tuned over 3 orders in magnitude via modulation of the equivalent electrical field at room temperature. Furthermore, photocurrent response measurements are taken to determine the optical bandgaps of zBNNRs with water adsorption. The zBNNR with increased width can exhibit a bandgap down to 1.17 eV. This study offers fundamental insights into new routes toward realizing electronic/optoelectronic devices and circuits based on hexagonal boron nitride.


Keywords: boron nitride nanoribbons, bandgap engineering, edge modification, water adsorption, transverse potential, hexagonal boron nitride.