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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Conformal High-K Dielectric Coating of Suspended Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Atomic Layer Deposition.


As one of the highest mobility semiconductor materials, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been extensively studied for use in field effect transistors (FETs). To fabricate surround-gate FETs- which offer the best switching performance-deposition of conformal, weakly-interacting dielectric layers is necessary. This is challenging due to the chemically inert surface of CNTs and a lack of nucleation sites-especially for defect-free CNTs. As a result, a technique that enables integration of uniform high-k dielectrics, while preserving the CNT's exceptional properties is required. In this work, we show a method that enables conformal atomic layer deposition (ALD) of high-k dielectrics on defect-free CNTs. By depositing a thin Ti metal film, followed by oxidation to TiO2 under ambient conditions, a nucleation layer is formed for subsequent ALD deposition of Al2O3. The technique is easy to implement and is VLSI-compatible. We show that the ALD coatings are uniform, continuous and conformal, and Raman spectroscopy reveals that the technique does not induce defects in the CNT. The resulting bilayer TiO2/Al2O3 thin-film shows an improved dielectric constant of 21.7 and an equivalent oxide thickness of 2.7 nm. The electrical properties of back-gated and top-gated devices fabricated using this method are presented.

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