Two-dimensional (2D) hexagonal boron nitride (BN) nanosheets are excellent dielectric substrate for graphene, molybdenum disulfide, and many other 2D nanomaterial-based electronic and photonic devices. To optimize the performance of these 2D devices, it is essential to understand the dielectric screening properties of BN nanosheets as a function of the thickness. Here, electric force microscopy along with theoretical calculations based on both state-of-the-art first-principles calculations with van der Waals interactions under consideration, and nonlinear Thomas-Fermi theory models are used to investigate the dielectric screening in high-quality BN nanosheets of different thicknesses. It is found that atomically thin BN nanosheets are less effective in electric field screening, but the screening capability of BN shows a relatively weak dependence on the layer thickness.
- boron nitride nanosheets
- electric field screening
- electric force microscopy (EFM)
- first-principles calculations
- nonlinear Thomas-Fermi theory