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Use of lattice strain to improve carrier mobility of 2D semiconductors

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Researcher’s method: Ripple is introduced into the 2D material molybdenum disulfide to improve carrier mobility at room temperature by double orders of magnitude, allowing electrons to move faster within the material. Credit: Dr. Wu Jing, A * STAR, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering.

Two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors are semiconductor materials with atomic-scale thickness and excellent electronic properties. In the future, these materials have the potential to replace silicon in the development of numerous electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Despite these advantages, the use of 2D semiconductors has traditionally been limited. This is partly due to the low carrier mobility at room temperature. This is caused by strong scattering of phonons (ie, quasiparticles associated with collective atomic vibrations) within the material’s lattice.

Researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology (A * STAR) in Singapore and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, China have recently devised design strategies to help overcome this limitation and improve carrier mobility of 2D materials. Their proposed approach, outlined in a paper published in Nature Electronics, involves introducing lattice strain into a 2D material using a bulging substrate.

“Our paper was inspired by the high carrier mobility observed by Tao Liuetal. In 2DTMD on a substrate with high surface roughness in 2019,” said Dr. Ming Yang and Dr. Jing Wu. The two researchers who conducted the study told TechXplore. “But the observed mobility improvement is simply due to the strain effect, and the underlying mechanism remains unclear. For this purpose, it causes such a significant improvement in mobility. High-performance electronics at room temperature. “

Most traditional strategies for improving carrier mobility in 2D semiconductors rely on achieving an ideal lattice structure. On the other hand, the strategy proposed by Yang, Wu and his colleagues only involves the introduction of a bulging substrate that creates ripples in the 2D semiconductor and suppresses phonon scattering.

“We simply placed the 2D material on a bulging substrate, creating ripples in the material and causing grid distortion,” explained Yang and Wu. “Usually, lattice strains will adversely affect carrier mobility, but such lattice strains produce greater electrical polarization and renormalize the phonon frequency to effectively scatter between electrons and phonons. It shows that it can not only suppress but also enhance the inherent scattering. The dielectric constant for further screening for polar phonon scattering. “

Compared to other existing approaches to increasing carrier mobility of 2D semiconductors, the strategies proposed by these researchers are simple and cost-effective. As part of their study, the team tested with 2D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and had a carrier mobility of approximately 900 cm2V1s1 at room temperature, with the predicted phonon-restricted mobility of flat MoS2 (range 200-410 cm2V1s1). I found that it exceeds.

“The underlying mechanism of the observed mobility and the underlying mechanism of such high carrier mobility in Ripple MoS2, which exceeds the phonon-restricted mobility expected in flat MoS2, is particularly noteworthy,” said Yang. Wu says. “Such high carrier mobility can pave the way for low-power electronics and is an important parameter for most applications, from field-effect transistors to photodetectors.”

The research carried out by this research team highlights the great potential of grid engineering strategies to improve the performance of electronic and thermoelectric devices at room temperature. In the future, they can use their methods to create more efficient devices based on 2D semiconductors. In addition, it can stimulate the development of other design strategies based on grid engineering.

“In the next study, we plan to systematically create wavy / bulging substrates to minimize variability and study the correlation between bulges,” added Yang and Wu.

Strategies for Remotely Modulating 2D Transistor Doping Details: Hong Kuan Ng et al, Improving Carrier Mobility in 2D Semiconductors Using Wavy Materials, Nature Electronics (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41928-022-00777-z

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