Tunable electronics in large-area atomic layers of boron-nitrogen-carbon

Nano Lett. 2013 Aug 14;13(8):3476-81. doi: 10.1021/nl400721y. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


We report on the low-temperature electrical transport properties of large area boron and nitrogen codoped graphene layers (BNC). The temperature dependence of resistivity (5 K < T < 400 K) of BNC layers show semiconducting nature and display a band gap which increases with B and N content, in sharp contrast to large area graphene layers, which shows metallic behavior. Our investigations show that the amount of B dominates the semiconducting nature of the BNC layers. This experimental observations agree with the density functional theory (DFT) calculations performed on BNC structures similar in composition to the experimentally measured samples. In addition, the temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity of these samples displays two regimes: at higher temperatures, the doped samples display an Arrhenius-like temperature dependence thus indicating a well-defined band gap. At the lowest temperatures, the temperature dependence of the conductivity deviates from activated behavior and displays a conduction mechanism consistent with Mott's two-dimensional (2D) variable range hopping (2D-VRH). The ability to tune the electronic properties of thin layers of BNC by simply varying the concentration of B and N will provide a tremendous boost for obtaining materials with tunable electronic properties relevant to applications in solid state electronics.