Anomalous isotope effect on mechanical properties of single atomic layer Boron Nitride

Alexey Falin, Haifeng Lv, Eli Janzen, James H. Edgar, Rui Zhang, Dong Qian, Hwo-shuenn Sheu, Qiran Cai, Wei Gan, Xiaojun Wu, Elton J. G. Santos, Lu Hua Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The ideal mechanical properties and behaviors of materials without the influence of defects are of great fundamental and engineering significance but considered inaccessible. Here, we use single-atom-thin isotopically pure hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) to demonstrate that two-dimensional (2D) materials offer us close-to ideal experimental platforms to study intrinsic mechanical phenomena. The highly delicate isotope effect on the mechanical properties of monolayer hBN is directly measured by indentation: lighter 10B gives rise to higher elasticity and strength than heavier 11B. This anomalous isotope effect establishes that the intrinsic mechanical properties without the effect of defects could be measured, and the so-called ultrafine and normally neglected isotopic perturbation in nuclear charge distribution sometimes plays a more critical role than the isotopic mass effect in the mechanical and other physical properties of materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5331
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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