Editorial Feature

Boron Nitride (BN) Semiconductors

Boron nitride is a chemical compound having chemical formula BN comprising equal numbers of nitrogen and boron atoms. BN exists in a number of crystalline forms and is isoelectronic to a similarly structured carbon lattice. The hexagonal form corresponds to graphite, the cubic form to diamond and another form to wurtzite.

Boron nitride is not found naturally and is produced synthetically from boron trioxide or boric acid.


Due to high chemical and thermal stability, boron nitride ceramics are used as components of high-temperature equipment. Boron nitride has high prospects for nanotechnology. Boron nitride nanotubes can be produced that have a similar structure to carbon nanotubes such as graphene or boron nitride sheets rolled on themselves; however, with very different properties.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of boron nitride are provided in the table below:

Chemical Properties
Chemical Formula BN
Molecular Weight 24.82
CAS No. 10043-11-5
IUPAC Name Boron nitride
Group III-V
Band Gap 6.2 eV
Band Gap Type Direct
Crystal Structure Wurtzite, Zinc Blende, hexagonal
Symmetry Group C46v-P63mc, T2d-F43m, D6c-P63mmc
Lattice Constant 2.55 A 3.615 A 2.5-2.9 A

Electrical Properties

The electrical properties of boron nitride for Zinc Blende crystal structure are provided in the table below:

Electrical Properties
Electron Mobility ≤200 cm2 V-1 s-1
Hole Mobility ≤500 cm2 V-1 s-1
Electron Diffusion Coefficient ≤5 cm2 s-1
Hole Diffusion Coefficient ≤12 cm2 s-1

Thermal, Mechanical and Optical Properties

The thermal, mechanical and optical properties of boron nitride are provided in the tables below:

Mechanical Properties
Melting Point 2973 °C
Density 3.4870 g cm-3 3.450 g cm-3 2.0-2.28 g cm-3
Bulk Modulus 400 GPa 400 GPa 36.5 GPa
Thermal Properties
Thermal Conductivity 7.4 W cm-1 °C-1
Thermal Diffusivity 1.47 cm2 s-1
Thermal Expansion Coefficient 5.27x10-6 °C-1
Specific Heat ~0.75 J g-1°C-1 ~0.6 J g-1 °C-1 ~0.8 J g-1 °C-1
Optical Properties
Infrared Refractive Index (300 K) Wurtzite~=2.05 Hexagonal ~=2.1 ZincBlende ~=1.8

Safety Information

Safety Information
Hazard Statements H 319- Causes serious eye irritation H335 – May cause respiratory irritation
Hazard Codes Xi - Irritant
Safety Precautions S26, S36


Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback