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Sci Adv. 2015 Jul 31;1(6):e1500094. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500094. eCollection 2015 Jul.

Atomically thin layers of B-N-C-O with tunable composition.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ; Electronic Materials Research Institute, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ; Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD 21251, USA.
2
Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ; Cinvestav Unidad Querétaro, Querétaro, Qro. 76230, Mexico.
3
Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
4
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80305, USA.
5
Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA.
6
Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.
7
Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI 53190, USA.
8
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
9
Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
10
College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
11
Night Visions Electronic Sensors Directorate, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060, USA.
12
Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, MD 20783, USA.
13
School of Basic Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751013, India.
14
Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ; Electronic Materials Research Institute, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
15
Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA. ; George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Northeastern University, Burlington, MA 01803, USA.

Abstract

In recent times, atomically thin alloys of boron, nitrogen, and carbon have generated significant excitement as a composition-tunable two-dimensional (2D) material that demonstrates rich physics as well as application potentials. The possibility of tunably incorporating oxygen, a group VI element, into the honeycomb sp(2)-type 2D-BNC lattice is an intriguing idea from both fundamental and applied perspectives. We present the first report on an atomically thin quaternary alloy of boron, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen (2D-BNCO). Our experiments suggest, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations corroborate, stable configurations of a honeycomb 2D-BNCO lattice. We observe micrometer-scale 2D-BNCO domains within a graphene-rich 2D-BNC matrix, and are able to control the area coverage and relative composition of these domains by varying the oxygen content in the growth setup. Macroscopic samples comprising 2D-BNCO domains in a graphene-rich 2D-BNC matrix show graphene-like gate-modulated electronic transport with mobility exceeding 500 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and Arrhenius-like activated temperature dependence. Spin-polarized DFT calculations for nanoscale 2D-BNCO patches predict magnetic ground states originating from the B atoms closest to the O atoms and sizable (0.6 eV < E g < 0.8 eV) band gaps in their density of states. These results suggest that 2D-BNCO with novel electronic and magnetic properties have great potential for nanoelectronics and spintronic applications in an atomically thin platform.

KEYWORDS:

alloy; atomically thin sheets; boron; graphene; magnetism; nitrogen; oxygen; two dimensional

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