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Quasi-Ballistic Carbon Nanotube Array Transistors with Current Density Exceeding Si and GaAs

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Journal Article - Open Access

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison

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Carbon nanotubes CNTs are tantalizing candidates for semiconductor electronics because of their exceptional charge transport properties and one-dimensional electrostatics. Ballistic transport approaching the quantum conductance limit of 2G0 4e2h has been achieved in field-effect transistors FETs containing one CNT. However, constraints in CNT sorting, processing, alignment, and contacts give rise to nonidealities when CNTs are implemented in densely packed parallel arrays such as those needed for technology, resulting in a conductance per CNT far from 2G0. The consequence has been that, whereas CNTs are ultimately expected to yield FETs that are more conductive than conventional semiconductors, CNTs, instead, have underperformed channel materials, such as Si, by six fold or more. We report quasi-ballistic CNT array FETs at a density of 47 CNTs mm1, fabricated through a combination of CNT purification, solution-based assembly, and CNT treatment. The conductance is as high as0.46 G0 per CNT. In parallel, the conductance of the arrays reaches 1.7 mS mm1, which is seven times higher than the previous state-of-the-art CNT array FETs made by other methods. The saturated on-state current density is as high as 900 mA mm1 and is similar to or exceeds that of Si FETs when compared at an equivalent gate oxide thickness and at the same off-state current density. The on-state current density exceeds that of GaAs FETs as well. This breakthrough in CNT array performance is a critical advance toward the exploitation of CNTs in logic, high-speed communications, and other semiconductor electronics technologies.

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  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment

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