Insertion of an ultrathin Al2O3 interfacial layer for Schottky barrier height reduction in WS2 field-effect transistors
We report an effective approach for reducing the Schottky barrier height (SBH) in the source and drain (S/D) contacts of WS2 field-effect transistors (FETs) using an ultrathin Al2O3 interfacial layer between the metal and WS2. Al2O3 with various thicknesses was deposited to study the effect of the insulator thickness on contact resistances. The reduction of the SBH by inserting an ultrathin insulator was confirmed via both calculations and experiments, while further increasing the thickness of the insulator introduces a tunneling barrier that leads to the decrease in the current. By analyzing the metal/WS2 contact using four different metals, the density of gap states caused by defects at the interface is found to be the main reason for the Fermi level pinning, and this metal–insulator–semiconductor (MIS) contact structure shows its great advantage in the Fermi level depinning, a large improvement of the on-current, and enhanced field-effect mobilities in WS2 FETs due to an Al2O3 capping layer. This work demonstrates that the SBH can be effectively modulated by the optimization of the inserted interfacial material and its thickness.