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Engineering the electronic bandgaps and band edge positions in carbon-substituted 2D boron nitride: a first-principles investigation

Shirodkar, S. N., Waghmare, U. V., Fisher, T. S. and Grau-Crespo, R. (2015) Engineering the electronic bandgaps and band edge positions in carbon-substituted 2D boron nitride: a first-principles investigation. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17 (20). pp. 13547-13552. ISSN 1463-9076

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1039/C5CP01680K

Abstract/Summary

Modification of graphene to open a robust gap in its electronic spectrum is essential for its use in field effect transistors and photochemistry applications. Inspired by recent experimental success in the preparation of homogeneous alloys of graphene and boron nitride (BN), we consider here engineering the electronic structure and bandgap of C2xB1−xN1−x alloys via both compositional and configurational modification. We start from the BN end-member, which already has a large bandgap, and then show that (a) the bandgap can in principle be reduced to about 2 eV with moderate substitution of C (x < 0.25); and (b) the electronic structure of C2xB1−xN1−x can be further tuned not only with composition x, but also with the configuration adopted by C substituents in the BN matrix. Our analysis, based on accurate screened hybrid functional calculations, provides a clear understanding of the correlation found between the bandgap and the level of aggregation of C atoms: the bandgap decreases most when the C atoms are maximally isolated, and increases with aggregation of C atoms due to the formation of bonding and anti-bonding bands associated with hybridization of occupied and empty defect states. We determine the location of valence and conduction band edges relative to vacuum and discuss the implications on the potential use of 2D C2xB1−xN1−x alloys in photocatalytic applications. Finally, we assess the thermodynamic limitations on the formation of these alloys using a cluster expansion model derived from first-principles.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:40311
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry

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