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Layered '2-D Nanocrystals' Promising New Semiconductor

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A representation of a new type of semiconductor material.

Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology, pictured here, for future computers and electronics based on "two-dimensional nanocrystals." The material, layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick, could replace today's silicon tran

Credit: Birck Nanotechnology Center/Purdue University

Purdue University researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future electronics. The technology is based on two-dimensional nanocrystals layered in sheets less than a nanometer thick. The layered structure is made of a molybdenum disulfide, which could be used to replace conventional complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS).

"We are going to reach the fundamental limits of silicon-based CMOS technology very soon, and that means novel materials must be found in order to continue scaling," says Purdue's Saptarshi Das. "I don't think silicon can be replaced by a single material, but probably different materials will co-exist in a hybrid technology."

Studies show the new material performs best when formed into sheets of about 15 layers with a total thickness of eight to 12 nanometers. "Our model is generic and, therefore, is believed to be applicable to any two-dimensional layered system," Das says.

Molybdenum disulfide is promising because it has a bandgap, a trait that is needed to switch on and off, which is important for digital transistors to store information in binary code. The problem of contact resistance, which impedes semiconductor electrical property measurements, was eliminated by using scandium.

From Purdue University News
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