Catalytically-etched hexagonal boron nitride flakes and their surface activity

Do Hyun Kim, Minwoo Lee, Bora Ye, Ho Kyun Jang, Gyu-Tae Kim, Dong Jin Lee, Eok Soo Kim, Hong Dae Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is a ceramic compound which is thermally stable up to 1000 °C in air. Due to this, it is a very challenging task to etch h-BN under air atmosphere at low temperature. In this study, we report that h-BN flakes can be easily etched by oxidation at 350 °C under air atmosphere in the presence of transition metal (TM) oxide. After selecting Co, Cu, and Zn elements as TM precursors, we simply oxidized h-BN sheets impregnated with the TM precursors at 350 °C in air. As a result, microscopic analysis revealed that an etched structure was created on the surface of h-BN flakes regardless of catalyst type. And, X-ray diffraction patterns indicated that the air oxidation led to the formation of Co3O4, CuO, and ZnO from each precursor. Thermogravimetric analysis showed a gradual weight loss in the temperature range where the weight of h-BN flakes increased by air oxidation. As a result of etching, pore volume and pore area of h-BN flakes were increased after catalytic oxidation in all cases. In addition, the surface of h-BN flakes became highly active when the h-BN samples were etched by Co3O4 and CuO catalysts. Based on these results, we report that h-BN flakes can be easily oxidized in the presence of a catalyst, resulting in an etched structure in the layered structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 30


  • Catalytic oxidation
  • Etching
  • Hexagonal boron nitride
  • Transition metal oxide
  • Vacancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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    Kim, D. H., Lee, M., Ye, B., Jang, H. K., Kim, G-T., Lee, D. J., Kim, E. S., & Kim, H. D. (2017). Catalytically-etched hexagonal boron nitride flakes and their surface activity. Applied Surface Science, 402, 254-260.