Electron energy-loss spectroscopy study of the electronic structure of boron nitride nanotubes

Masami Terauchi, Michiyoshi Tanaka, Takehisa Matsumoto, Yahachi Saito

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Electron energy-loss spectra were obtained from single boron-nitride nanotubes (BNTs), which were synthesized by the arc-discharge method. The and π + σ plasmon energies of the BNTs were smaller than those of hexagonal boron-nitride (h-BN). The π + σ plasmon energy is explained by the surface plasmon excitation. Dielectric functions of the BNTs were derived from the loss functions by Kramers-Kronig analysis. The bandgap energy was obtained to be ~5 eV, which is smaller than that of h-BN of 5.8 eV, from the imaginary part of the dielectric function. Full width at half maximum (FWHM) value of the 1s → π* transition peak in boron K-shell excitation spectra was nearly the same as that of h-BN, whereas the FWHM value of the peak of carbon nanotubes was greater than that of graphite. No additional broadening of the peaks of the BNTs may be attributed to a weak interaction between the p(z) orbitals of adjacent boron and nitrogen atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electron Microscopy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Bandgap energy
  • Boron 1s → π* transition
  • Boron nitride nanotube
  • High energy-resolution EELS
  • π + plasmon
  • π plasmon


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