Phase patterning for ohmic homojunction contact in MoTe2

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Science  07 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6248, pp. 625-628
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3175

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Making better contacts

A key issue in fabricating transistors is making a good electrical contact to the semiconductor gate material. For two-dimensional materials, one route is through a phase transition that converts a hexagonally packed semiconductor phase into a distorted octahedrally packed metallic phase. Cho et al. show that laser heating of molybdenum telluride (MoTe2) achieves this conversion through the creation of Te vacancies. The phase transition improves charge carrier mobility while maintaining the low resistance necessary for improved transistor function.

Science, this issue p. 625


Artificial van der Waals heterostructures with two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals are promising as an active channel or as a buffer contact layer for next-generation devices. However, genuine 2D heterostructure devices remain limited because of impurity-involved transfer process and metastable and inhomogeneous heterostructure formation. We used laser-induced phase patterning, a polymorph engineering, to fabricate an ohmic heterophase homojunction between semiconducting hexagonal (2H) and metallic monoclinic (1T’) molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe2) that is stable up to 300°C and increases the carrier mobility of the MoTe2 transistor by a factor of about 50, while retaining a high on/off current ratio of 106. In situ scanning transmission electron microscopy results combined with theoretical calculations reveal that the Te vacancy triggers the local phase transition in MoTe2, achieving a true 2D device with an ohmic contact.

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