Thickness determination of few-layer hexagonal boron nitride films by scanning electron microscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy
We assess scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) for thickness measurements on few-layer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), the layered dielectric of choice for integration with graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Observations on h-BN islands with large, atomically flat terraces show that the secondary electron intensity in SEM reflects monolayer height changes in films up to least 10 atomic layers thickness. From a quantitative analysis of AES data, the energy-dependent electron escape depth in h-BN films is deduced. The results show that AES is suitable for absolute thickness measurements of few-layer h-BN of 1 to 6 layers.