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Strain-induced work function in h-BN and BCN monolayers

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Thomas, M.S. Manju, K.M. Ajith, S.U. Lee and M. Asle Zaeem. Strain-induced work function in h-BN and BCN monolayers.  Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems andNanostructures 123 (2020) 114180 (9 pages) 


In the last decade, research activities of semiconducting two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials has received widespread attention, and the work function analysis is a significant parameter for investigating the feasible optoelectronic activity of these 2D materials. Here, we report a comparative study using ab-initobased density functional theory calculations to examine the impact of uniaxial and biaxial tensile and compressive strains on the work functions of boron nitride (h-BN) and boron carbonitride (BCN) monolayers. Unlike h-BN which has a large bandgap of 5 eV, the computed direct bandgap of BCN monolayer is 1.18 eV, which is beneficial for use in optoelectronic applications. We noticed that the calculated work function of both h-BN and BCN decreases (increases) continuously by increasing the compressive (tensile) strain irrespective of the strain directions. The observed variations in the work function in both h-BN and BCN are found to be related to the modulation of Fermi energy under compressive and tensile strains. The change in bond length between the atoms changes the total energy as a function of applied strain. Moreover, the direct bandgaps of both h-BN and BCN remain unaffected within the studied range of compressive and tensile strains, which can be beneficial for their use in photovoltaic devices. We also noticed that elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio are found to be anisotropic and decrease (increase) with the application of uniaxial tensile (compressive) strain. In addition, both h-BN and BCN possess high longitudinal and transverse wave velocities. The insight gained from this study will stimulate the research on BCN in view of relevant technological applications in the fields of nanoelectronics and optoelectronics.

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