We report the fluorination of electrically insulating hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and the subsequent modification of its electronic band structure to a wide bandgap semiconductor via introduction of defect levels. The electrophilic nature of fluorine causes changes in the charge distribution around neighboring nitrogen atoms in h-BN, leading to room temperature weak ferromagnetism. The observations are further supported by theoretical calculations considering various possible configurations of fluorinated h-BN structure and their energy states. This unconventional magnetic semiconductor material could spur studies of stable two-dimensional magnetic semiconductors. Although the high thermal and chemical stability of h-BN have found a variety of uses, this chemical functionalization approach expands its functionality to electronic and magnetic devices.
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