A simple one-step process that produces both n-type and p-type doping of large-area graphene surfaces could facilitate use of the promising material for future electronic devices. The doping technique can also be used to increase conductivity in graphene nanoribbons used for interconnects.
By applying a commercially-available spin-on-glass (SOG) material to graphene and then exposing it to electron-beam radiation, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology created both types of doping by simply varying the exposure time. Higher levels of e-beam energy produced p-type areas, while lower levels produced n-type areas.
The technique was used to fabricate high-resolution p-n junctions. When properly passivated, the doping created by the SOG is expected to remain indefinitely in the graphene sheets studied by the researchers.
"This is an enabling step toward making possible complementary metal oxide graphene transistors," said Raghunath Murali, a senior research engineer in Georgia Tech's Nanotechnology Research Center.
A paper describing the technique appears this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters. The research was supported by the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Interconnect Focus Center.
In the new doping process, Murali and graduate student Kevin Brenner begin by removing flakes of graphene one to four layers thick from a block of graphite. They place the material onto a surface of oxidized silicon, then fabricate a four-point contact device.
Next, they spin on films of hydrogen silsesquoxane (HSQ), then cure certain portions of the resulting thin film using electron beam radiation. The technique provides precise control over the amount of radiation and where it is applied to the graphene, with higher levels of energy corresponding to more cross-linking of the HSQ.
"We gave varyin
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Georgia Institute of Technology Research News