Oxidative Unzipping and Transformation of High Aspect Ratio Boron Nitride Nanotubes into "White Graphene Oxide" Platelets

Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 8;6:29498. doi: 10.1038/srep29498.


Morphological and chemical transformations in boron nitride nanotubes under high temperature atmospheric conditions is probed in this study. We report atmospheric oxygen induced cleavage of boron nitride nanotubes at temperatures exceeding 750 °C for the first time. Unzipping is then followed by coalescence of these densely clustered multiple uncurled ribbons to form stacks of 2D sheets. FTIR and EDS analysis suggest these 2D platelets to be Boron Nitride Oxide platelets, with analogous structure to Graphene Oxide, and therefore we term them as "White Graphene Oxide" (WGO). However, not all BNNTs deteriorate even at temperatures as high as 1000 °C. This leads to the formation of a hybrid nanomaterial system comprising of 1D BN nanotubes and 2D BN oxide platelets, potentially having advanced high temperature sensing, radiation shielding, mechanical strengthening, electron emission and thermal management applications due to synergistic improvement of multi-plane transport and mechanical properties. This is the first report on transformation of BNNT bundles to a continuous array of White Graphene Oxide nanoplatelet stacks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't