High-energy proton irradiation damage on two-dimensional hexagonal boron nitride

Dongryul Lee, Sanghyuk Yoo, Jinho Bae, Hyunik Park, Keonwook Kang, Jihyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The dielectric layer, which is an essential building block in electronic device circuitry, is subject to intrinsic or induced defects that limit its performance. Nano-layers of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) represent a promising dielectric layer in nano-electronics owing to its excellent electronic and thermal properties. In order to further analyze this technology, two-dimensional (2D) h-BN dielectric layers were exposed to high-energy proton irradiation at various proton energies and doses to intentionally introduce defective sites. A pristine h-BN capacitor showed typical degradation stages with a hard breakdown field of 10.3 MV cm-1, while h-BN capacitors irradiated at proton energies of 5 and 10 MeV at a dose of 1 × 1013 cm-2 showed lower hard breakdown fields of 1.6 and 8.3 MV cm-1, respectively. Higher leakage currents were observed under higher proton doses at 5 × 1013 cm-2, resulting in lower breakdown fields. The degradation stages of proton-irradiated h-BN are similar to those of defective silicon dioxide. The degradation of the h-BN dielectric after proton irradiation is attributed to Frenkel defects created by the high-energy protons, as indicated by the molecular dynamics simulation. Understanding the defect-induced degradation mechanism of h-BN nano-layers can improve their reliability, paving the way to the implementation of 2D h-BN in advanced micro- and nano-electronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18326-18332
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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