Chemically grown electronic films for atomically thin integrated circuitry
Large scale growth of semiconducting thin films is the basis of modern electronics and optoelectronics. Decreasing these films to the ultimate limit of a few atoms in thickness is difficult for traditional semiconductors, such as silicon, but would benefit applications in ultrathin and flexible electronics, photovoltaics, and display technologies.
A team at Cornell has demonstrated the world’s first three-atom-thick semiconducting films with high electronic performance and wafer-scale uniformity. These ultimately thin films are grown from earth-abundant compounds widely used as lubricants — molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and tungsten disulfide (WS2) — using a new deposition technique. Following growth, the Cornell team processed the films with standard nanofabrication techniques to produce high-performance transistors with unsurpassed thinness and multi-level integration. Their new growth technique can be used to make atomically thin films of all varieties, opening the door to many types of atomically-thin integrated circuitry for electronics and optoelectronics.
Photographs of three-atom-thick monolayer MoS2 (top) and WS2 (bottom) films grown on 4-inch fused silica substrates, with diagrams of their respective atomic structures.