Aug 19, 2014
Boron nitride diamondoids as nanoscale building blocks
Diamondoids are nanoscale hydrogen-terminated carbon cages. They are strong candidates in nanoelectronic applications due to their very small size and properties such as negative electron affinity and strong monochromatic emission. Now, reporting in Nanotechnology, researchers perform quantum-mechanical calculations to probe the stability and electronic properties of novel boron nitride (BN)-diamondoid nanostructures. They show the advantages that they have above their carbon-based diamondoid counterparts.
The derivatives of these nanoscale diamondoid materials are already in use in pharmaceutical applications as anti-viral and anti-Parkinsons agents. Nevertheless, in view of potential applications, the use of carbon-based diamondoids is restricted due to their very specific properties. In this respect, the search for other similar nanoscale molecules could open up additional possibilities for novel applications.
Here, a research group at the University of Stuttgart in Germany study the possibility of forming diamondoids based on boron and nitrogen. The researchers find that boron nitride diamondoids show a high stability and electronic properties that vary with the molecule's size. These complement those of their carbon-based counterparts. This work is based on quantum-mechanical computer simulations.
Similarly to carbon-based diamondoids, a selective choice of the size of the boron nitride diamondoids leads to specific electronic properties, such as electronic conductance. As opposed to the regular diamondoids, the boron nitride diamondoids shift their electronic bandgap to the semiconducting region. Accordingly, these can be used as nanoscale building blocks in electronics applications complementary to the ones potentially realizable using carbon-based diamondoids.
More information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 25 365601.
Enhancing dielectric growth with two-dimensional materials (Aug 2014)
Hexagonal boron nitride: impurity free for further applications (May 2014)
Studies of defects in boron nitride reveal useful properties for devices (Jan 2014)
About the author
Maria Fyta is a Junior Professor at the Institute of Computational Physics, University of Stuttgart, Germany. With a background in condensed matter physics, her current research interests focus on nanoscale materials, as well as the integration of these with biological molecules. Her work is based on computer simulations and modelling.