We have demonstrated a nonlinear behavior for the bandgap opening of doped graphene by controlling the concentration of B and N co-dopants. X-ray absorption and emission spectra reveal that the bandgap increases from 0 to 0.6 eV as the concentration of BN dopants is increased from 0 to 6%, while the bandgap closes when the doping concentration becomes 56%. This nonlinear behavior of bandgap opening of the BN-doped graphene depending on the BN concentrations is consistent with the valence-band photoemission spectroscopic measurements. The spatially resolved B, N and C K-edge scanning transmission x-ray microscopy and their x-ray absorption near-edge structure spectra all support the scenario of the development of h-BN-like domains at high concentrations of BN. Ab initio calculation, by taking into account of the strong correlation between the bandgap and the geometry/concentration of the dopant, has been performed with various BN-dopant nano-domains embedded in the graphene monolayer to verify the unique bandgap behavior. Based on the experimental measurements and ab initio calculation, we propose the progressive formation of a phase-separated zigzag-edged BN domain from BN quantum dots with increasing BN-dopant concentration to explain the extraordinary nonlinear behavior of bandgap opening of BN-doped graphene sheets. This study reveals a new way to engineer the bandgap of low-dimensional systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)