Ultrasharp h-BN Nanocones and the Origin of Their High Mechanical Stiffness and Large Dipole Moment

DG Kvashnin and AT Matveev and OI Lebedev and BI Yakobson and D Golberg and PB Sorokin and DV Shtansky, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 9, 5086-5091 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b02122

We report on experimental synthesis and theoretical studies of ultrasharp BN-nanocones. Using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the cone-like morphology of synthesized products was confirmed. Theoretical analysis of the dipole moment nature in h-BN nanocones reveals that the moment has contributions from the polarity of B-N bonds and electronic flexoelectric effect associated with a curved h-BN lattice. The latter phenomenon is predicted on the basis of the extension of the theory of flexoelectric effects in the h-BN lattice through establishing universality of the linear dependence of flexoelectric dipole moments on local curvature in various nano-h-BN networks (nanotubes and fullerenes). Our study of the atomic structure response and its polarization under deformation of nanocones with different apex angles shows the advantageous properties of cones with the smallest angles.

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