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Hexagonal reconstruction of cubic boron nitride particle surfaces revealed by EELS

ABSTRACT: Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) in the Scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) is used to study on a nanoscale surface structure and chemistry of cubic boron nitride (c-BN). Different types of commercial c-BN monocrystals were studied. With the high spatial resolution capability of STEM, EELS analysis reveals the existence of a layer of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN)-like phase on each c-BN particle and in grain boundaries. This surface layer thickness is variable and less than 2nm in most cases.