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Nano Research

Article Title

Spectroscopic signatures of edge states in hexagonal boron nitride

Authors

Chuang Gao, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Lei Tao, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
Yu-Yang Zhang, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Topological Quantum Computation, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Shixuan Du, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Topological Quantum Computation, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Sokrates T. Pantelides, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
Juan Carlos Idrobo, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
Wu Zhou, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Topological Quantum Computation, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Hong-Jun Gao, School of Physical Sciences and CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China CAS Centre for Excellence in Topological Quantum Computation, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Keywords

h-BN, edge structure, spectroscopic signatures, electron energy-loss near edge structure

Abstract

We use Z-contrast imaging and atomically resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy on an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope to investigate the local electronic states of boron atoms at different edge structures in monolayer and bilayer h-BN. We find that edges with bonding unsaturated sp2 boron atoms have a unique spectroscopic signature with a prominent pre-peak at ~ 190.2 eV in the B K-edge fine structure. First-principles calculations reveal that the observed pre-peak arises from excitations to the in-plane lowest-energy empty sp2 boron dangling bonds at the B-terminated edge. This spectroscopic signature can serve as a fingerprint to explore new edge structures in h-BN.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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