Two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide negative capacitance field-effect transistors

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Essential to metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) scaling is the reduction of the supply voltage to mitigate the power consumption and corresponding heat dissipation. Conventional dielectric materials are subject to the thermal limit imposed by the Boltzmann factor in the subthreshold swing, which places an absolute minimum on the supply voltage required to modulate the current. Furthermore, as technology approaches the 5 nm node, electrostatic control of a silicon channel becomes exceedingly difficult, regardless of the gating technique. This notion of "the end of silicon scaling" has rapidly increased research into more scalable channel materials as well as new methods of transistor operation. Among the many promising options are two-dimensional (2D) FETs and negative capacitance (NC) FETs. 2D-FETs make use of atomically thin semiconducting channels that have enabled demonstrated scalability beyond what silicon can offer. NC-FETs demonstrate an effective negative capacitance arising from the integration of a ferroelectric into the transistor gate stack, allowing sub-60 mV/dec switching. While both of these devices provide significant advantages, neither can accomplish the ultimate goal of a FET that is both low-voltage and scalable. However, an appropriate fusion of the 2D-FET and NC-FET into a 2D NC-FET has the potential of enabling a steep-switching device that is dimensionally scalable beyond the 5 nm technology node.

In this work, the motivation for and operation of 2D NC-FETs is presented. Experimental realization of 2D NC-FETs using 2D transition metal dichalcogenide molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as the channel is shown with two different ferroelectric materials: 1) a solution-processed, polymeric poly(vinylidene difluoride trifluoroethylene) ferroelectric and 2) an atomic layer deposition (ALD) grown hafnium zirconium oxide (HfZrO2) ferroelectric. Each ferroelectric was integrated into the gate stack of a 2D-FET having either a top-gate (polymeric ferroelectric) or bottom-gate (HfZrO2 ferroelectric) configuration. HfZrO2 devices with metallic interfacial layers (between ferroelectric and dielectric) and thinner ferroelectric layers were found to reduce both the hysteresis and the threshold voltage. Detailed characterization of the devices was performed and, most significantly, the 2D NC-FETs with HfZrO2 reproducibly yielded subthreshold swings well below the thermal limit with over more than four orders of magnitude in drain current modulation. HfZrO2 devices without metallic interfacial layers were utilized to explore the impact of ferroelectric thickness, dielectric thickness, and dielectric composition on device performance. The impact of an interfacial metallic layer on the device operation was investigated in devices with HfZrO2 and shown to be crucial at enabling sub-60 mV/dec switching and large internal voltage gains. The significance of dielectric material choice on device performance was explored and found to be a critical factor in 2D NC-FET transistor operation. These successful results pave the way for future integration of this new device structure into existing technology markets.





McGuire, Felicia Ann (2018). Two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide negative capacitance field-effect transistors. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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