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Mechanical properties of atomically thin boron nitride and the role of interlayer interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2017, 00:00 authored by Aleksey Falin, Qiran CaiQiran Cai, E J G Santos, D Scullion, D Qian, R Zhang, Z Yang, S Huang, K Watanabe, T Taniguchi, Matthew BarnettMatthew Barnett, Ying (Ian) ChenYing (Ian) Chen, R S Ruoff, Luhua LiLuhua Li
Atomically thin boron nitride (BN) nanosheets are important two-dimensional nanomaterials with many unique properties distinct from those of graphene, but investigation into their mechanical properties remains incomplete. Here we report that high-quality single-crystalline mono- and few-layer BN nanosheets are one of the strongest electrically insulating materials. More intriguingly, few-layer BN shows mechanical behaviours quite different from those of few-layer graphene under indentation. In striking contrast to graphene, whose strength decreases by more than 30% when the number of layers increases from 1 to 8, the mechanical strength of BN nanosheets is not sensitive to increasing thickness. We attribute this difference to the distinct interlayer interactions and hence sliding tendencies in these two materials under indentation. The significantly better interlayer integrity of BN nanosheets makes them a more attractive candidate than graphene for several applications, for example, as mechanical reinforcements.

History

Journal

Nature communications

Volume

8

Article number

15815

Pagination

1 - 9

Publisher

Springer Nature

Location

London, Eng.

eISSN

2041-1723

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, The Authors