Scientists investigate alternative to silicon and graphene




It’s researchers have succeeded to find out how a crystal lattice of pure electrons on the bottom of placing a silicon quantum well. The first results promise a 1700 times greater electron mobility than achievable in crystalline silicon and 200 times more than in graphene.

Lead researcher Sergey Kravchenko from Northeastern University in the United States said on EETimes that the work is far removed from practical applications. As researchers indeed expected to move forward as a result of this publication, is faced with the door slightly open for further applications in the semiconductor industry.

The current quest is focused on finding the Wigner crystal , predicted in 1934 by Eugene Wigner. With these new samples, the question must be answered or to make the Wigner crystal or not. “We now have the techniques that enable us to perceive this new state of matter. If this is indeed predicted by Wigner, then one of the main issues in so-called condensed matter, answered,” said Kravchenko.

The research team hopes that if the results are confirmed, attract the ultra high electron mobility researchers from the semiconductor industry to figure out how it is to actually apply.

Eight layered stack used by the researchers to create a quantum well filled with a crystalline lattice or pure electrons. (Source: Northeastern University) Kravchenko indicates that we should not forget that there are no atoms in space of the well, electrons only. The investigation has thus called electron’gas’ produced since the electrons normally would dance around like molecules in a room. Under the proper conditions, however, crystallizes electron gas into a crystal lattice having an electron mobility of 2.4 million cm2 / Vs. Silicon has to compare an electron mobility of 1,400 cm2 / Vs. The electron gas is two-dimensional, which means that the electrons can move only in the plane. They can not over each other in the plane perpendicular to the above direction.

The researchers built the pit on eight layers of metal and silicon compounds in which the 15nm was thin quantum well. The ‘gate’ of aluminum on top of the quantum well had a threshold value of substantially zero volts and the conductance was very sensitive to temperature. The creators hope the others manage to reproduce their findings. The full publication can be found in Applied Physics Letters .


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