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Berkeley Lab Scientists Grow Atomically Thin Transistors and Circuits

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A schematic of chemical assembly of two-dimensional crystals.

In this schematic of the chemical assembly of two-dimensional crystals, graphene is first etched into channels and the transition-metal dichalcogenide molybdenum disulfide (MOS2) begins to nucleate around the edges and within the channel. On the edges, Mo

Credit: Berkeley Lab

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to chemically assemble transistors and circuits that are only a few atoms thick, an advance that could lead to next-generation electronics and computing technologies that are paper-thin.

The team controlled the synthesis of a transistor in which narrow channels were etched onto conducting graphene, and a semiconducting material called a transition-metal dichalcogenide was seeded in the blank channels. The researchers say both of these materials are single-layered crystals and atomically thin, so the two-part assembly yielded electronic structures that are essentially two-dimensional (2D). Moreover, the synthesis is able to cover an area a few centimeters long and a few millimeters wide. The team assembled the structure into the logic circuitry of an inverter.

The synthesis of the 2D crystals in the wafer scale is compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing, according to the researchers.

"This is a big step toward a scalable and repeatable way to build atomically thin electronics or pack more computing power in a smaller area," says Berkeley Lab's Xiang Zhang.

From Berkeley Lab News Center
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