Wurtzite form W Boron nitride


What is Boron nitride?

Boron nitride can be doped p-type with beryllium and n-type with boron, sulfur, silicon, or if co-doped with carbon and nitrogen. Both hexagonal and cubic BN are wide-gap semiconductors with band-gap energy corresponding to the UV region. If voltage is applied to h-BN or c-BN, it emits UV light in the range of 215–250 nm and, therefore, can potentially be used as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or lasers. The partly ionic structure of BN layers in h-BN reduces covalency and electrical conductivity, whereas the interlayer interaction increases, resulting in higher hardness of h-BN relative to graphite. The reduced electron-delocalization in hexagonal-BN is also indicated by its absence of color and a large band gap. Very different bonding – strong covalent within the basal planes (planes where boron and nitrogen atoms are covalently bonded) and weak between them – causes high anisotropy of most properties of h-BN. For example, the hardness, electrical and thermal conductivity are much higher within the planes than perpendicular to them. On the contrary, the properties of c-BN and w-BN are more homogeneous and isotropic.


Wurtzite form W Boron nitride

The wurtzite form of boron nitride (w-BN; point group = C6v; space group = P63mc) has the same structure as lonsdaleite, a rare hexagonal polymorph of carbon. As in the cubic form, the boron and nitrogen atoms are grouped into tetrahedra. The boron and nitrogen atoms are grouped into 6-membered rings in the wurtzite form. In the cubic form, all rings are in the chair configuration, whereas in w-BN, the rings between 'layers' are in the boat configuration. Earlier optimistic reports predicted that the wurtzite form was very strong and was estimated by a simulation as potentially having a strength 18% stronger than that of a diamond. Since only small amounts of the mineral exist, this has not yet been experimentally verified. Its hardness is 46 GPa, slightly harder than commercial borides but softer than the cubic form of boron nitride.


Hexagonal form (h-BN)

The most stable crystalline form is the hexagonal, called h-BN, α-BN, g-BN, and graphitic boron nitride. Hexagonal boron nitride (point group = D6h; space group = P63/MMC) has a layered structure similar to graphite. Boron and nitrogen atoms are bound by strong covalent bonds within each layer, whereas weak van der Waals forces hold the layers together. However, the interlayer "registry" of these sheets differs from the pattern seen for graphite because the atoms are eclipsed, with boron atoms lying over and above nitrogen atoms. This registry reflects the B–N bonds' local polarity and interlayer N-donor/B-acceptor characteristics. Likewise, many metastable forms consisting of differently stacked polytypes exist. Therefore, h-BN and graphite are very close neighbors, and the material can accommodate carbon as a substituent element to form BNCs. BC6N hybrids have been synthesized, where carbon substitutes for some B and N atoms.


Price of Boron nitride

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