[en] Boron nitride single layer belongs to the family of two-dimensional materials whose optical properties are currently receiving considerable attention. Strong excitonic effects have already been observed in the bulk and still stronger effects are predicted for single layers. We present here a detailed study of these properties by combining ab initio calculations and a tight-binding Wannier analysis in both real and reciprocal space. Due to the simplicity of the band structure with single valence (π) and conduction (π∗) bands the tight-binding analysis
becomes quasiquantitative with only two adjustable parameters and provides tools for a detailed analysis of the exciton properties. Strong deviations from the usual hydrogenic model are evidenced. The ground-state exciton is not a genuine Frenkel exciton, but a very localized tightly bound one. The other ones are similar to those found in transition-metal dichalcogenides and, although more localized, can be described within a Wannier-Mott scheme.