Designing nanoscaled hybrids from atomic layered boron nitride with silver nanoparticle deposition†
We have developed a microwave assisted one-pot approach to fabricate a novel hybrid nano-composite composed of two-dimensional chemically exfoliated layered hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and embedded silver nanoparticles (SNP). Atomic layered h-BN exfoliated using chemical liquid showed strong in-plane bonding and weak van der Waals interplanar interactions, which is utilized for chemically interfacing SNP, indicating their ability to act as excellent nano-scaffolds. The SNP/h-BN optical response, in particular band gap, is strongly dependent on the concentration of the metallic particles. In order to gain further insight into this behavior we have also carried out ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations on modeled structures, demonstrating that the bandgap value of SNP/h-BN hybrids could be significantly altered by a small percentage of OH− groups located at dangling B and N atoms. Our results showed that these novel SNP/h-BN nanohybrid structures exhibited excellent thermal stability and they are expected to be applied as devices for thermal oxidation-resistant surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). The SNP/h-BN membrane showed remarkable antibacterial activity, suggesting their potential use in water disinfection and food packaging.