Boron nitride takes on the symbol (BN) consisting of boron and nitrogen and is made up of covalent bonds. The element appears as a colorless crystal or white powder and a high melting point of 2973 ºC (subl). The element is insoluble in water and also with other metals that give it its property to be used as an anti-oxidation agent when melting other metals.
Boron nitride is different from other diatomic molecules such as hydrogen chloride and carbon monoxide. However, it has more commonalities to carbon whose representation as a monoatomic C is misleading.
Its combination of two elements makes it a synthetic material, although deposits of the same have been noted to be naturally occurring. However, most organizations manufacture the material to use for ceramics.
Structural Forms of Boron Nitride
Just like carbon, boron nitride has multiple structural forms including its most stable form called the hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). hBN is isoelectronic with graphite with its same hexagonal shape and softness exhibiting lubricant tendencies. Its soft characteristic and bond make it possible to produce graphene-like sheets that can later be formed into the nanotube.
The other form of boron nitride is cubic boron nitride (cBN) which is isoelectronic with diamond although not as hard as diamond. However, it is stable in thermal and chemical aspects. Its properties make it much easier to make. It is the BN that is insoluble with other metals at high temperatures, making it a useful abrasive.
Boron Nitride Market and Price Trends
Boron nitride is mostly sold in powder form, as it is most preferred by consumers for logistical purposes and ease of use. The powders can be in the form of hBN or cBN but prices are different according to what the powder is meant for. The normal powder goes for about $40,000 per metric tone, however, BN meant for the cosmetic industry is finer and more refined, hence ranging from $65,000 – $90,000 per metric tone.
As forecasted between the years 2020 and 2026, the boron nitrate market is expected to experience a high growth rate because of the materials’ properties and required use in many industries. However, the unforeseen threat of COVID-19 is likely to slow down the growth rate. It wouldn’t stop the market because larger components of the products that require BN are still being consumed during the pandemic.
Boron Nitride News
The latest behind boron nitride is that the possibility of shrinking semi-conductors to smaller and even powerful is being explored in Silicon Valley. If possible, the industry will witness one of the smallest, powerful tech inventions in the industry. The possibility of making the quest a success is pegged on the success of using 2-D atomically thin materials like graphene upon which circuits can be created on a smaller scale.
In the medical world, boron nitride nanofilms are being explored for their capability in protecting against bacterial and fungal infections. The technology is highly beneficial to the medical field while manufacturing implants to go in human bodies. The invention will help against implant microbial infections and side effects common in the medical world.
As more uses are being discovered from BN, the demand in the market is expected to rise, therefore, ensuring growth for the market.