Electron beam evaporated Au Islands as a nanoscale etch mask on few-layer MoS2 and fabrication of top-edge hybrid contacts for field-effect transistors

Timothy N. Walter, Nailah Oliver, Suzanne E. Mohney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metal contacts to two-dimensional layered semiconductors are crucial to the performance of field-effect transistors (FETs) and other applications of layered materials in nanoelectronics and beyond. In this work, the wetting behavior of very thin Au films on exfoliated MoS2 flakes was studied and evaluated as a nanoscale, self-assembled dry etch mask. Etching nanoscale pits into MoS2 flakes prior to metallization from the top of the flake forms edge sites that contribute some fraction of edge contacts in addition to top contacts for additional carrier injection and lower contact resistance. The morphology and thickness of Au islands and MoS2 were studied with scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy before and after etching with low-power plasmas. A Cl2 plasma etch of 10 s with a Au island mask of 6 nm (nominal) showed the best resulting morphology among the plasma conditions studied. Back-gated MoS2-based FETs on SiO2/p+-Si with Ti/Au contacts were fabricated using a Cl2 etch of only the contact regions, and they yielded devices with ON currents of 100s µA/µm, ON/OFF ratios 106, and contact resistance <10 kΩ µm. The best set of devices had a very low contact resistance of ∼1 kΩ µm with almost no dependence of contact resistance on gating. Using nanoscale etch masks made from metal islands could be highly customizable and shows promise for engineering FETs with low contact resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025203
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 8 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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