Reversible intercalation of hexagonal boron nitride with Brønsted acids

Nina I. Kovtyukhova, Yuanxi Wang, Ruitao Lv, Mauricio Terrones, Vincent H. Crespi, Thomas E. Mallouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is an insulating compound that is structurally similar to graphite. Like graphene, single sheets of BN are atomically flat, and they are of current interest in few-layer hybrid devices, such as transistors and capacitors, that contain insulating components. While graphite and other layered compounds can be intercalated by redox reactions and then converted chemically to suspensions of single sheets, insulating BN is not susceptible to oxidative intercalation except by extremely strong oxidizing agents. We report that stage-1 intercalation compounds can be formed by simple thermal drying of h-BN in Brønsted acids H2SO4, H3PO4, and HClO4. X-ray photoelectron and vibrational spectra, as well as electronic structure and molecular dynamics calculations, demonstrate that noncovalent interactions of these oxyacids with the basic N atoms of the sheets drive the intercalation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8372-8381
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 5 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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