Hydroxylation of a metal-supported hexagonal boron nitride monolayer by oxygen induced water dissociation
Hydroxylated hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets exhibit potential application in nanocomposites and functional surface coating. Our first-principles calculations reveal possible hydroxylation of a h-BN monolayer on a Ni substrate by surface O adatom induced spontaneous dissociation of water molecules. Here one H atom is split from a water molecule by bonding with the O adatom on the B atom and the resulting O–H radical then bonds with an adjacent B atom, which leads to two hydroxyl groups formed on h-BN/Ni. Hydroxylation slightly influences the electronic properties of a Ni-supported h-BN layer. Similar water dissociation and hydroxylation can occur on the surface of O functionalized h-BN/Cu depending on the O adsorption configuration. Metal substrates play an important catalytic role in enhancing the chemical reactivity of O adatoms on h-BN with water molecules through transferring additional charges to them.