What is Hexagonal Boron Nitride? Why Is It So Interesting?

Electrical, Physics
Boron, like many other elements, forms nitrides. These nitrides can assume a variety of crystalline structures. One of those varieties consists of atoms in hexagonal array, layered in sheets. It is hexagonal boron nitride, or h-BN. A sheet of h-BN outwardly resembles a sheet of graphene. For this reason, some refer to it as graphitic boron nitride. We shall see that, despite a considerable similarity in appearance on papers, there are major differences between graphene and h-BN as well. Very significant differences. Graphene Vs. Hexagonal Boron Nitride Atomic spacing within a single layer of hexagonal boron nitride varies slightly from that of a sheet of graphene. As a result, graphene is black, while h-BN is white! [caption id="attachment_24819" align="alignleft" width="340"] Powdered h-BN - Image Indiamart[/caption] Graphene's C–C bonds are non-polar…
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Diamondoids: Adamantane, Diamantane and Triamantane Practical Uses?

Chemistry, Technology
Carbon readily bonds to itself. This unusual characteristic allows the existence of a whole host of hydrocarbons, some of which assume amazing geometric shapes. Cyclopropane (C3H6) looks like an equilateral triangle. Cubane (C8H4) is a cube. In recent years, Bucky balls, graphene sheets and nanotubes have become household topics. Diamondoids Diamondoids are compounds of hydrogen and carbon consisting of cage-like structures that resemble the diamond lattice. Carbon-carbon bond lengths are 1.54 Ångstrom units (1 Å = 10-8 centimeters) in length both for diamond and for diamantane. But the structures themselves are difficult to compare. Please take some time to ponder the unit cell image for diamond and the chemical structures of the first three diamondoids of the series, adamantane (C10H16), diamantane (C14H20), and triamantane (C18H24). Diamondoid to Diamond? Diamond is…
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Graphene Properties, Applications, and Production

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_16970" align="alignright" width="406"] Graphene Lattice - By AlexanderAlUS - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption] Carbon varieties include diamonds, graphite1, soot, Buckminsterfullerene, and tiny nanotubes. Despite these amazing forms, there is still another form of carbon, perhaps the most amazing of all. Graphene. Discovery Graphene is a super material. For its successful isolation, André Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, were awarded the 2010 Nobel prize. Each sheet is one atom thick. It resembles a hurricane fence. First Production The first effort at isolation involved thinning a pad of graphite. Adhesive tape was attached to the sides of the pad it was pulled apart. In time, a single layer was left. There are two easy ways to visualize this. First, imagine a flaky biscuit with many layers. You peel the layers off,…
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