Contact and Bandgap Engineering in Two Dimensional Crystal

Tao Chu, Purdue University


At the heart of semiconductor research, bandgap is one of the key parameters for materials and determine their applications in modern technologies. For traditional bulk semiconductors, the bandgap is determined by the chemical composition and specific arrangement of the crystal lattices, and usually invariant during the device operation. Nevertheless, it is highly desirable for many optoelectronic and electronic applications to have materials with continuously tunable bandgap available. In the past decade, 2D layered materials including graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have sparked interest in the scientific community, owing to their unique material properties and tremendous potential in various applications. Among many newly discovered properties that are non-existent in bulk materials, the strong in-plane bonding and weak van der Waals inter-planar interaction in these 2D layered structures leads to a widely tunable bandgap by electric field. This provides an extra knob to engineer the fundamental material properties and open a new design space for novel device operation. This thesis focuses on this field controlled dynamic bandgap and can be divided into three parts: (1) bilayer graphene is the first known 2D crystal with a bandgap can be continuously tuned by electric field. However, the electrical transport bandgaps is much smaller than both theoretical predictions and extracted bandgaps from optical measurements. In the first part of the thesis, the limiting factors of preventing achieving a large transport bandgap in bilayer graphene are investigated and different strategies to achieve a large transport bandgap are discussed, including the vertically scaling of gate oxide and patterning channel into ribbon structure. With a record large transport bandgap of ~200meV, a dual-gated semiconducting bilayer graphene P/N junction with extremely scaled gap of 20nm in-between is fabricated. A tunable local maxima feature, associated with 1D vHs DOS at the band edge of bilayer graphene, was experimentally observed in transport for the first time. (2) The bandgap of bilayer MoS2 is also predicted to be continuously tuned to zero by applying a perpendicular electric field. Here, the first experimental realization of tuning the bandgap of bilayer MoS2 by a vertical electric field is presented. An analytical approach utilizing the threshold voltages from ambipolar characteristics is employed to quantitatively extract bandgaps, which is further benchmarked by temperature dependent bandgap measurements and photoluminescence measurements. (3) Few layer graphene is employed as an example to demonstrate a novel self-aligned edge contacting scheme for layered material systems.




Chen, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Nanotechnology

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