One of the main limiting factors in the performance of devices based on two-dimensional (2D) materials is Fermi level pinning at the contacts, which creates Schottky barriers (SBs) that increase contact resistance and, for most transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), limit hole conduction. A promising method to mitigate these problems is surface charge transfer doping (SCTD), which places fixed charge at the surface of the material and thins the SBs by locally shifting the energy bands. We use a mild O2 plasma to convert the top few layers of a given TMD into a substoichiometric oxide that serves as a p-type SCTD layer. A comprehensive experimental study, backed by TCAD simulations, involving MoS2, MoSe2, MoTe2, WS2, and WSe2 flakes of various thicknesses exposed to different plasma times is used to investigate the underlying mechanisms responsible for SCTD. The surface charge at the top of the channel and the gate-modulated surface potential at the bottom are found to have competing effects on the channel potential, which results in a decrease in the doping-induced threshold shift and an increase in minimum OFF state current with increasing thickness. Additionally, an undoped channel region is shown to mitigate carrier injection issues in sufficiently thin flakes. Notably, the band movements underlying the SCTD effects are independent of the particular semiconductor material, SCTD strategy, and doping polarity. Consequently, our findings provide critical insights for the design of high-performance transistors for a wide range of materials and SCTD mechanisms including TMD devices with strong hole conduction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)