Materials maketh our world! In electronics too, the choice of material makes a distinct difference in device & circuit performance. Diodes, transistors and other active components of a circuit are commonly made of semiconducting materials, such as silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), and silicon carbide (SiC). Each of these semiconductors has a unique set of properties and their devices lend themselves to specific applications.
However, a new world of possibilities has opened up since the discovery of 2D materials such as graphene and molybdenum sulphide (MoS2). A 2D material is essentially a single sheet of atoms – for example: graphene is a single sheet of carbon atoms. All its unique physical properties can be explained using only two dimensions along the sheet (hence, referred to as a ‘2D’ material). Certain 2D materials have exhibited exceptional electron transport properties and hold great promise for high performance devices when integrated with conventional semiconductors listed above. However, there are many challenges in creating, handling and integrating these nanomaterials into electronic devices.
Here are stories from our lab on some of these challenges.