The synthesis of uniform hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) layer has been successfully achieved by a surface segregation method using a helicon wave plasma enhanced radio frequency magnetron sputtering system followed by in situ annealing in an ultrahigh vacuum. Auger electron spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the surface of codeposited Cu/B/N was covered by the segregated h-BN. Atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnel microscopy indicates that the attractive force on the surface segregated h-BN layer is uniformly distributed to an extent of less than 1 nN and exhibited a good insulating property. This result suggests that the surface segregation of h-BN is an effective method to make a template layer for tribological coating, electric microdevices and nanostructured devices.

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