VLSI-compatible carbon nanotube doping technique with low work-function metal oxides.

Research paper by Luckshitha L Suriyasena Liyanage, Xiaoqing X Xu, Greg G Pitner, Zhenan Z Bao, H-S Philip HS Wong

Indexed on: 19 Mar '14Published on: 19 Mar '14Published in: Nano Letters


Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have great potential to become the channel material for future high-speed transistor technology. However, as-made carbon nanotube field effect transistors (CNFETs) are p-type in ambient, and a consistent and reproducible n-type carbon nanotube (CNT) doping technique has yet to be realized. In addition, for very large scale integration (VLSI) of CNT transistors, it is imperative to use a solid-state method that can be applied on the wafer scale. Herein we present a novel, VLSI-compatible doping technique to fabricate n-type CNT transistors using low work-function metal oxides as gate dielectrics. Using this technique we demonstrate wafer-scale, aligned CNT transistors with yttrium oxide (Y2Ox) gate dielectrics that exhibit n-type behavior with Ion/Ioff of 10(6) and inverse subthreshold slope of 95 mV/dec. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses confirm that slow (∼1 Å/s) evaporation of yttrium on the CNTs can form a smooth surface that provides excellent wetting to CNTs. Further analysis of the yttrium oxide gate dielectric using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques revealed that partially oxidized elemental yttrium content increases underneath the surface where it acts as a reducing agent on nanotubes by donating electrons that gives rise to n-type doping in CNTs. We further confirm the mechanism for this technique with other low work-function metals such as lanthanum (La), erbium (Er), and scandium (Sc) which also provide similar CNT NFET behavior after transistor fabrication. This study paves the way to exploiting a wide range of materials for an effective n-type carbon nanotube transistor for a complementary (p- and n-type) transistor technology.