Cleaning of pyrolytic hexagonal boron nitride surfaces

Sean W. King, Robert Nemanich, Robert F. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) has recently garnered significant interest as a substrate and dielectric for two-dimensional materials and devices based on graphene or transition metal dichalcogenides such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). As substrate surface impurities and defects can negatively impact the structure and properties of two-dimensional materials, h-BN surface preparation and cleaning are a critical consideration. In this regard, we have utilized X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to investigate the influence of several ex situ wet chemical and in situ thermal desorption cleaning procedures on pyrolytic h-BN surfaces. Of the various wet chemistries investigated, a 10 : 1 buffered HF solution was found to produce surfaces with the lowest amount of oxygen and carbon contamination. Ultraviolet/ozone oxidation was found to be the most effective ex situ treatment for reducing carbon contamination. Annealing at 1050°C in vacuum or 10-5 Torr NH3 was found to further reduce oxygen and carbon contamination to the XPS detection limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-803
Number of pages6
JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • 2D materials
  • Boron nitride
  • Surface cleaning
  • XPS
  • h-BN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Cleaning of pyrolytic hexagonal boron nitride surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this