Functionalized boron nitride porous solids†
Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), also known as white graphene, is well known for its chemical inertness. Recent studies indicate that functionalization of h-BN can tune its physico-chemical properties, including its electrical conductivity. Here we propose a method for the functionalization of h-BN flakes with various oxygen functionalities to make a graphite oxide analogue of h-BN, with a view to develop cross-linked, low-density (∼40 mg cm−3), and porous h-BN solids, as have been recently well cited for graphene and graphite oxide. For the first time, a macro-porous low density h-BN monolith foam is developed via a single step template free chemical route followed by a lyophilisation process. h-BN is known for its high thermal stability, and here oil adsorption by the foam (∼2 g g−1) and complete burning of the adsorbed oil without disrupting the h-BN skeleton were demonstrated indicating the flexibility of tuning the morphology of the h-BN in bulk, like graphite, without losing its inherent physical properties, opening new avenues for h-BN in the energy and environment related fields.