Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is a material with excellent thermal conductivity and electrical insulation, used as an additive to various matrices. To increase the affinity of h-BN to them, hydrogen bonds should be formed at the interface. In reality, however, they are not formed; the N atoms are not capable of accepting hydrogen bonds due to the delocalization of their lone pair electrons over the B-N π bonds. To make it form hydrogen bonds, one may need to break the planarity of h-BN so that the orbital overlap in the B-N π bonds can be reduced. This idea is verified with first-principles calculations on the adsorption of a water molecule on hypothetical h-BN surfaces, the planarity of which is broken. One can do it in silico but not in vitro. BN nanotubes (BNNTs) are considered as a more realistic BN surface with nonplanarity. The hydrogen bond is shown to become stronger as the curvature of the tube increases. On the contrary, the strength of the dispersion force acting at the interface becomes weaker. In water adsorption, these two interactions are in competition with each other. However, in epoxy adhesion, the interaction due to dispersion forces is overwhelmingly stronger than that due to hydrogen bonding. The smaller the curvature of the surface, the smaller the distance between more atoms at the interface; thus, the interaction due to dispersion forces maximized.
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