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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 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 Co 3 O 4 , 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 Co 3 O 4 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was financially supported by the project (code number: 10067386) of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of Knowledge Economy (MOTIE) and by the project (code number: EO170007) of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP). We would like to express our sincere thanks to them for the support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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