Research studies on the growth and properties of hexagonal boron nitride hBN have recently attracted a lot of attention. The lattice parameter of h-BN is very close to that of the recently discovered graphene. The surface of hBN is atomically flat and will provide an ideal chemically inert dielectric substrate for 2D-structures. Secondly, the band gap of h-BN is about 6 eV and that has fuelled the interest in hBN as a wide gap material for deep-ultraviolet device (DUV) applications. Currently there are world-wide attempts to develop a reproducible technology for the growth of large area h-BN layers by chemical vapour deposition (CVD), metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).
We have recently demonstrated growth of hBN layers using MBE at extremely high growth temperatures from 1390o to 1690oC . Atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows mono- and few-layer hBN island growth, while conducting atomic force microscopy demonstrates that the MBE grown hBN has electrical properties comparable to exfoliated hBN. The high optical quality of hBN grown at high temperatures on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) has been confirmed by both spectroscopic ellipsometry and photoluminescence spectroscopy .
In this work we present our recent results on the high-temperature MBE of hBN monolayers with atomically controlled thicknesses for 2D applications and on the growth of significantly thicker hBN layers for potential DUV applications.
 Y.J. Cho, et al. Scientific Reports 6 (2016) 34474.
 T. Q.P. Vuong, et al. 2D Materials 4 (2017) 021023.
The UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology is one of four flagship initiatives in the UK National of Quantum Technology Program. As part of a 20-year vision it translates laboratory demonstrations to deployable practical devices, with game-changing miniaturized components and prototypes that transform the state-of-the-art for quantum sensors and metrology. It brings together experts from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, NPL and currently links to over 15 leading international academic institutions and over 70 companies to build the supply chains and routes to market needed to bring 10–1000x improvements in sensing applications. It seeks, and is open to, additional partners for new application development and creates a point of easy open access to the facilities and supply chains that it stimulates or nurtures.