Improving the electrical properties of InAs nanowire field effect transistors by covering them with Y2O3/HfO2 layers†
Quasi-one-dimensional semiconducting materials have attracted increasing attention due to their excellent ability to downscale the size of transistors. However, in quasi-one-dimensional nanowire (NW) transistors, their surface and interface properties play a very important role mainly due to the large surface-to-volume ratio of NWs and surface scattering, which degrade their carrier mobility. Herein, we developed a new method to cover the channel surface of InAs NW field effect transistors (FETs) with Y2O3/HfO2 layers to improve their electrical properties. We successfully fabricated nine FETs and measured their electrical properties, which improve after depositing the Y2O3/HfO2 layers, including an increase in on-state current, decrease in off-state current, increase in transconductance, increase in electron mobility and decrease in subthreshold swing. By comparing the properties of Y2O3/HfO2-covered devices with that of the FETs fabricated without the Y2O3 covering or without annealing, we prove that it is the combined Y2O3/HfO2 layers instead of only the Y2O3 or HfO2 layer that improve the electrical properties of the FETs. The Cs-corrected high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy study demonstrates that Y can actually diffuse through the native oxide layer (confirmed to be InOx) and reach the surface of the InAs NWs. Our results indicate that the desirable characteristics of Y2O3 and the surface passivation by HfO2 improve the electrical properties of the InAs NW FETs, in which Y2O3 plays an important role to modify and stabilize the interface between the InAs NWs and the outside dielectric layer. Furthermore, this method should also be applicable to other III–V materials.