As distinct from bulk silicon, ultrathin silicon-on-insulator (SOI) or silicon nanomembranes (Si-NMs) offer excellent electronic and mechanical properties that are essential to the development of electronic/optoelectronic systems. Ultrathin Si-NM field effect transistors (FETs) based on p-doped SOI (100) wafers are investigated. The thickness of the Si-NMs is controllably reduced from 50 nm to 10 nm through the use of a unique etching process. Based on systematic investigation of Si-NM FETs with varying thicknesses, both insulating and metallic behaviors are observed, which can be attributed to carrier enhancement by surface-dipole doping after thickness reduction. Spectroscopy characterization and theoretical simulations reveal that this high surface-dipole density can be inverted, yielding high-density electrons regardless of the bulk p-doped nature of the material, thus significantly enhancing its conductivity. These findings offer a physical understanding of thickness dependence, which is critical to the future development of ultrathin SOI electronics, of relevance to a diverse range of semiconductor applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
E.S. and Z.G. contributed equally to this work. The manuscript was written through contributions of all authors. All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (51322201, U1632115, 51602056), National Key Research and Development Program (2015ZX02102-003 and 2016YFA0203900), Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (no. 17JC1401700), and the Changjiang Young Scholars Program of China. Part of the experimental work has been carried out in Fudan Nanofabrication Laboratory. References 22, 25, and 27 were updated on the 9th of July, 2019, after publication, as the author lists had been incorrectly reproduced.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials