Electron beam directed etching of hexagonal boron nitride†
Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is a wide bandgap van der Waals material with unique optical properties that make it attractive for two dimensional (2D) photonic and optoelectronic devices. However, broad deployment and exploitation of hBN is limited by alack of suitable material and device processing and nano prototyping techniques. Here we present a high resolution, single step electron beam technique for chemical dry etching of hBN. Etching is achieved using H2O as a precursor gas, at both room temperature and elevated hBN temperatures. The technique enables damage-free, nano scale, iterative patterning of supported and suspended 2D hBN, thus opening the door to facile fabrication of hBN-based 2D heterostructures and devices.