skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Molecular dynamics investigation of hexagonal boron nitride sputtering and sputtered particle characteristics

Abstract

The sputtering of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) by impacts of energetic xenon ions is investigated using a molecular dynamics (MD) model. The model is implemented within an open-source MD framework that utilizes graphics processing units to accelerate its calculations, allowing the sputtering process to be studied in much greater detail than has been feasible in the past. Integrated sputter yields are computed over a range of ion energies from 20 eV to 300 eV, and incidence angles from 0° to 75°. Sputtering of boron is shown to occur at energies as low as 40 eV at normal incidence, and sputtering of nitrogen at as low as 30 eV at normal incidence, suggesting a threshold energy between 20 eV and 40 eV. The sputter yields at 0° incidence are compared to existing experimental data and are shown to agree well over the range of ion energies investigated. The semi-empirical Bohdansky curve and an empirical exponential function are fit to the data at normal incidence, and the threshold energy for sputtering is calculated from the Bohdansky curve fit as 35 ± 2 eV. These results are shown to compare well with experimental observations that the threshold energy lies between 20 eV and 40 eV. It is demonstrated that h-BN sputters predominantly as atomicmore » boron and diatomic nitrogen, and the velocity distribution function (VDF) of sputtered boron atoms is investigated. The calculated VDFs are found to reproduce the Sigmund-Thompson distribution predicted by Sigmund's linear cascade theory of sputtering. The average surface binding energy computed from Sigmund-Thompson curve fits is found to be 4.5 eV for ion energies of 100 eV and greater. This compares well to the value of 4.8 eV determined from independent experiments.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22597732
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: (c) 2016 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; BINDING ENERGY; BORON; BORON NITRIDES; CASCADE THEORY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DIAGRAMS; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; INCIDENCE ANGLE; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; NITROGEN; SPUTTERING; SURFACES; THRESHOLD ENERGY; VELOCITY; XENON IONS

Citation Formats

Smith, Brandon D., E-mail: bradenis@umich.edu, and Boyd, Iain D. Molecular dynamics investigation of hexagonal boron nitride sputtering and sputtered particle characteristics. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4958869.
Smith, Brandon D., E-mail: bradenis@umich.edu, & Boyd, Iain D. Molecular dynamics investigation of hexagonal boron nitride sputtering and sputtered particle characteristics. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4958869.
Smith, Brandon D., E-mail: bradenis@umich.edu, and Boyd, Iain D. 2016. "Molecular dynamics investigation of hexagonal boron nitride sputtering and sputtered particle characteristics". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4958869.
@article{osti_22597732,
title = {Molecular dynamics investigation of hexagonal boron nitride sputtering and sputtered particle characteristics},
author = {Smith, Brandon D., E-mail: bradenis@umich.edu and Boyd, Iain D.},
abstractNote = {The sputtering of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) by impacts of energetic xenon ions is investigated using a molecular dynamics (MD) model. The model is implemented within an open-source MD framework that utilizes graphics processing units to accelerate its calculations, allowing the sputtering process to be studied in much greater detail than has been feasible in the past. Integrated sputter yields are computed over a range of ion energies from 20 eV to 300 eV, and incidence angles from 0° to 75°. Sputtering of boron is shown to occur at energies as low as 40 eV at normal incidence, and sputtering of nitrogen at as low as 30 eV at normal incidence, suggesting a threshold energy between 20 eV and 40 eV. The sputter yields at 0° incidence are compared to existing experimental data and are shown to agree well over the range of ion energies investigated. The semi-empirical Bohdansky curve and an empirical exponential function are fit to the data at normal incidence, and the threshold energy for sputtering is calculated from the Bohdansky curve fit as 35 ± 2 eV. These results are shown to compare well with experimental observations that the threshold energy lies between 20 eV and 40 eV. It is demonstrated that h-BN sputters predominantly as atomic boron and diatomic nitrogen, and the velocity distribution function (VDF) of sputtered boron atoms is investigated. The calculated VDFs are found to reproduce the Sigmund-Thompson distribution predicted by Sigmund's linear cascade theory of sputtering. The average surface binding energy computed from Sigmund-Thompson curve fits is found to be 4.5 eV for ion energies of 100 eV and greater. This compares well to the value of 4.8 eV determined from independent experiments.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4958869},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
number = 5,
volume = 120,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}
  • The torsional mechanical properties of hexagonal single-walled boron nitride nanotubes (SWBNNTs), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and their hybrid structures (SWBN-CNTs) are investigated using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Two approaches - force approach and energy approach, are adopted to calculate the shear moduli of SWBNNTs and SWCNTs, the discrepancy between two approaches is analyzed. The results show that the shear moduli of single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs), including SWBNNTs and SWCNTs are dependent on the diameter, especially for armchair SWNTs. The armchair SWNTs show the better ability of resistance the twisting comparable to the zigzag SWNTs. The effects of diameter and length onmore » the critical values of torque of SWNTs are obtained by comparing the torsional behaviors of SWNTs with different diameters and different lengths. It is observed that the MD results of the effect of diameter and length on the critical values of torque agrees well with the prediction of continuum shell model. The shear modulus of SWBN-CNT has a significant dependence on the percentages of SWCNT and the hybrid style has also an influence on shear modulus. The critical values of torque of SWBN-CNTs increase with the increase of the percentages of SWCNT. This phenomenon can be interpreted by the function relationship between the torque of different bonds (B-N-X, C-C-X, C-B-X, C-N-X) and the angles of bonds.« less
  • The sputtering of hexagonal boron nitride due to low energy xenon ion bombardments occurs in various applications including fabrication of cubic boron nitride and erosion of Hall thruster channel walls. At low ion energies, accurate experimental characterization of sputtering increases in difficulty due to the low yields involved. A molecular dynamics model is employed to simulate the sputtering process and to calculate sputter yields for ion energies ranging from 10 to 350 eV. The results are compared to experimental data and a semiempirical expression developed by Bohdansky [Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 2, 587 (1984)] is found to adequatelymore » describe the simulation data. Surface temperature effects are also investigated, and the sputter yield at 850 K is approximately twice that at 423 K.« less
  • Large area chemical vapor deposited graphene and hexagonal boron nitride was used to fabricate graphene–hexagonal boron nitride–graphene symmetric field effect transistors. Gate control of the tunneling characteristics is observed similar to previously reported results for exfoliated graphene–hexagonal boron nitride–graphene devices. Density-of-states features are observed in the tunneling characteristics of the devices, although without large resonant peaks that would arise from lateral momentum conservation. The lack of distinct resonant behavior is attributed to disorder in the devices, and a possible source of the disorder is discussed.
  • An attempt has been made to utilize uniquely high electron mobility of graphene on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) to electron emitter. The field emission property of graphene/h-BN/Si structure has shown enhanced threshold voltage and emission current, both of which are key to develop novel vacuum nanoelectronics devices. The field emission property was discussed along with the electronic structure of graphene investigated by Fowler-Nordheim plot and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy. The result suggested that transferring graphene on h-BN modified its work function, which changed field emission mechanism. Our report opens up a possibility of graphene-based vacuum nanoelectronics devices with tuned work function.
  • We demonstrate growth of single-layer graphene (SLG) on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), only limited in area by the finite size of the h-BN flakes. Using atomic force microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy, we show that for growth over a wide range of temperatures (500 °C – 1000 °C) the deposited carbon atoms spill off the edge of the h-BN flakes. We attribute this spillage to the very high mobility of the carbon atoms on the BN basal plane, consistent with van der Waals MBE. The h-BN flakes vary in size from 30 μm to 100 μm,more » thus demonstrating that the migration length of carbon atoms on h-BN is greater than 100 μm. When sufficient carbon is supplied to compensate for this loss, which is largely due to this fast migration of the carbon atoms to and off the edges of the h-BN flake, we find that the best growth temperature for MBE SLG on h-BN is ~950 °C. Self-limiting graphene growth appears to be facilitated by topographic h-BN surface features: We have thereby grown MBE self-limited SLG on an h-BN ridge. This opens up future avenues for precisely tailored fabrication of nano- and hetero-structures on pre-patterned h-BN surfaces for device applications.« less