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Origin of the monolayer Raman signature in hexagonal boron nitride: a first-principles analysis

Ontaneda, J., Singh, A., Waghmare, U. V. and Grau-Crespo, R. ORCID: (2018) Origin of the monolayer Raman signature in hexagonal boron nitride: a first-principles analysis. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 30 (18). 185701. ISSN 1361-648X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1088/1361-648X/aab883


Monolayers of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) can in principle be identified by a Raman signature, consisting of an upshift in the frequency of the E2g vibrational mode with respect to the bulk value, but the origin of this shift (intrinsic or support-induced) is still debated. Herein we use density functional theory calculations to investigate whether there is an intrinsic Raman shift in the h-BN monolayer in comparison with the bulk. There is universal agreement among all tested functionals in predicting the magnitude of the frequency shift upon a variation in the in-plane cell parameter. It is clear that a small in-plane contraction can explain the Raman peak upshift from bulk to monolayer. However, we show that the larger in-plane parameter in the bulk (compared to the monolayer) results from non-local correlation effects, which cannot be accounted for by local functionals or those with empirical dispersion corrections. Using a non-local-correlation functional, we then investigate the effect of finite temperatures on the Raman signature. We demonstrate that bulk h-BN thermally expands in the direction perpendicular to the layers, while the intralayer distances slightly contract, in agreement with observed experimental behavior. Interestingly, the difference in in-plane cell parameter between bulk and monolayer decreases with temperature, and becomes very small at room temperature. We conclude that the different thermal expansion of bulk and monolayer partially "erases" the intrinsic Raman signature, accounting for its small magnitude in recent experiments on suspended samples.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:76327
Uncontrolled Keywords:boron nitride; negative thermal expansion; Raman signature
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
Publisher Statement:As the Version of Record of this article is going to be/has been published on a subscription basis, this Accepted Manuscript will be available for reuse under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 licence after a 12 month embargo period. Although reasonable endeavours have been taken to obtain all necessary permissions from third parties to include their copyrighted content within this article, their full citation and copyright line may not be present in this Accepted Manuscript version. Before using any content from this article, please refer to the Version of Record on IOPscience once published for full citation and copyright details, as permission may be required. All third party content is fully copyright protected, unless specifically stated otherwise in the figure caption of the Version of Record.


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