Photoluminescent (PL) and optical absorption spectra of high-yield multi-wall BN nanotubes (BNNTs) were systematically investigated at room temperature in comparison with commercial hexagonal BN (h-BN) powder. The direct band gap of the BNNTs was determined to be 5.75 eV, just slightly narrower than that of h-BN powder (5.82 eV). Two Frenkel excitons with the binding energy of 1.27 and 1.35 eV were also determined. However, they were not a distinctive characteristic of the BNNTs as reported previously. Observed broad UV–visible–NIR light emission demonstrates the potential of the BNNTs as a nano light source.
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