Effect of ripples on the finite temperature elastic properties of hexagonal boron nitride using strain-fluctuation method

S Thomas and KM Ajith and MC Valsakumar, SUPERLATTICES AND MICROSTRUCTURES, 111, 360-372 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.spmi.2017.06.051

This work intents to put forth the results of a classical molecular dynamics study to investigate the temperature dependent elastic constants of monolayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) between 100 and 1000 K for the first time using strain fluctuation method. The temperature dependence of out-of-plane fluctuations (ripples) is quantified and is explained using continuum theory of membranes. At low temperatures, negative in-plane thermal expansion is observed and at high temperatures, a transition to positive thermal expansion has been observed due to the presence of thermally excited ripples. The decrease of Young's modulus, bulk modulus, shear modulus and Poisson's ratio with increase in temperature has been analyzed. The thermal rippling in h-BN leads to strong anharmonic behaviour that causes large deviation from the isotropic elasticity. A detailed study shows that the strong thermal rippling in large systems is also responsible for the softening of elastic constants in h-BN. From the determined values of elastic constants and elastic moduli, it has been elucidated that 2D h-BN sheets meet the Born's mechanical stability criterion in the investigated temperature range. The variation of longitudinal and shear velocities with temperature is also calculated from the computed values of elastic constants and elastic moduli. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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