The electronic structure of monolayer hexagonal boron nitride grown on Ni by the diffusion and precipitation method was studied by x-ray absorption spectroscopy, emission spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and micro-ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy. No indication of hybridization between h-BN π and Ni 3d orbitals was observed. That is, the monolayer h-BN was found to be in the quasi-free-standing state. These results are in striking contrast to those of previous studies in which h-BN was strongly bound to the Ni surface by the orbital hybridization. The absence of hybridization is attributed to absence of a Ni(111) surface in this study. The lattice-matched Ni(111) surface is considered to be essential to orbital hybridization between h-BN and Ni.
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