Nav: Home

Innovative technique could pave way for new generation of flexible electronic components

January 24, 2019

Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed an innovative technique that could help create the next generation of everyday flexible electronics.

A team of engineering experts have pioneered a new way to ease production of van der Waals heterostructures with high-K dielectrics- assemblies of atomically thin two-dimensional (2-D) crystalline materials.

One such 2-D material is graphene, which comprises of a honeycomb-shaped structure of carbon atoms just one atom thick.

While the advantages of van der Waals heterostructures is well documented, their development has been restricted by the complicated production methods.

Now, the research team has developed a new technique that allows these structures to achieve suitable voltage scaling, improved performance and the potential for new, added functionalities by embedding a high-K oxide dielectric.

The research could pave the way for a new generation of flexible fundamental electronic components.

The research is published in the journal Science Advances.

Dr Freddie Withers, co-author of the paper and from the University of Exeter said: "Our method to embed a laser writable high-K dielectric into various van der Waals heterostructure devices without damaging the neighbouring 2D monolayer materials opens doors for future practical flexible van der Waals devices such as, field effect transistors, memories, photodetectors and LED's which operate in the 1-2 Volt range"

The quest to develop microelectronic devices to increasingly smaller size underpins the progress of the global semiconductor industry - a collection of companies that includes the tech and communication giants Samsung and Toshiba - has been stymied by quantum mechanical effects.

This means that as the thickness of conventional insulators is reduced, the ease at which electrons can escape through the films.

In order to continue scaling devices ever smaller, researchers are looking at replacing conventional insulators with high-dielectric-constant (high-k) oxides. However, commonly used high-k oxide deposition methods are not directly compatible with 2D materials.

The latest research outlines a new method to embed a multi-functional, nanoscaled high-K oxide, only a within van der Waals devices without degrading the properties of the neighbouring 2D materials.

This new technique allows for the creation of a host of fundamental nano-electronic and opto-electronic devices including dual gated graphene transistors, and vertical light emitting and detecting tunnelling transistors.

Dr Withers added: "The fact we start with a layered 2D semiconductor and convert it chemically to its oxide using laser irradiation allows for high quality interfaces which improve device performance.

"What's especially interesting for me is we found this oxidation process of the parent HfS2 to take place under laser irradiation even when its sandwiched between 2 neighbouring 2D materials. This indicates that water needs to travel between the interfaces for the reaction to occur."
-end-
Laser writable high-K dielectric for van der Waals nano-electronics is published in Science Advances.

University of Exeter

Related Graphene Articles:

Graphene is 3D as well as 2D
Graphene is actually a 3D material as well as a 2D material, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London.
Conductivity at the edges of graphene bilayers
For nanoribbons of bilayer graphene, whose edge atoms are arranged in zigzag patterns, the bands of electron energies which are allowed and forbidden are significantly different to those found in monolayer graphene.
How to purify water with graphene
Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology 'MISIS' together with their colleagues from Derzhavin Tambov State University and Saratov Chernyshevsky State University have figured out that graphene is capable of purifying water, making it drinkable, without further chlorination.
Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide
The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results.
1 + 1 does not equal 2 for graphene-like 2D materials
Physicists from the University of Sheffield have discovered that when two atomically thin graphene-like materials are placed on top of each other their properties change, and a material with novel hybrid properties emerges, paving the way for design of new materials and nano-devices.
More Graphene News and Graphene Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...