PORTLAND, Ore.—A new semiconductor material called molybdenite (MoS2) is claimed to be 100,000 times lower power than silicon, plus will allow the fabrication of much smaller transistors, according to researchers at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPGL).
As a next-generation semiconductor material, molybdenite also beats graphene by possessing a bandgap, according the EPGL.
The EPFL claims that molybdenite is an abundant mineral which is already used in steel alloys and as an additive in lubricants. The material is being developed for the first time as a next-generation semiconductor at its EPGL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES).
"[Molybdenite] has real potential in the fabrication of very small transistors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells," said EPFL professor Andras Kis.
According to Kis, one or molybdenite's main attributes is that unlike silicon, which is a three-dimensional crystal, molybdenite is an inherently two-dimensional material, permitting thin films as thin as 6.5 angstrom to be relatively easily fabricated (one nanometers equals 10 angstroms) that have an equal electron mobility to two-nanometer thick layers of silicon.
In addition, unlike graphene—which does not possess a bandgap—molybdenite has a bandgap of 1.8 electron-volts, putting it between gallium arsenide (1.4) and gallium nitride (3.4)—opening the possibility of fabricated chips that can handle both electrical and optical functions.
Molybdenite--MoS2--here is used to create an ultra-lower power field effect transistors (FET) by acting as its channel on a silicon-on-insulator substrate using high-k dielectric (HfO2) gate oxide.
Larger bandgap means lower leakage. That is basic physics. But it does not mean that you can replace silicon with any wider bandgap material. If that was the case silicon would be finished long time ago ;-)...dr Kris
@selinz, graphene in its 2D form is a zero-bandgap semiconductor, or "semi-metal". That is, the conduction and valence bands just touch at a so-called Dirac point. However, the article is wrong in that graphene, as envisioned for transistors, would be patterned into ribbons. The lateral quantum confinement then does open a bandgap just like carbon nanotubes only un-rolled. In theory, you could control the bandgap by controlling the width of the ribbon. In fact, turn the ribbon 30 degrees and it goes metallic so in once piece of graphene you could go metal-semiconducting-metal i.e. the source and drain and interconnects are automatic. All this requires, however, controlling the ribbon width with atomic precision...
thank you @Neo1, but even 6.5A does not produce 100,000 factor in lowering the power, today's MOSFETs have gate oxide 20A thick or so, the difference is not that dramatic...the power "number" likely comes from the bandgap value, 1.8eV vs 1.1eV for silicon but this again highly misleading, there are several wider bandgap materials available, so what, some have bandgaps larger than 3eV, should we claim they offer 100,000,000 gains in lowering the power (if you calculate exp(-EA/kT) factor)...dr Kris
I guess their 100,000 number comes from the maximal range i.e. the assumption that one can actually fabricate a device with 6.5 Angstroms gate thickness and make it switch like Si. But the diagram still shows the other junctions to be still Si, so what's the secret here?
Colin, saying that a new material is 100,000 more efficient in power is a big stretch to say the least...for starters semiconductor material does not dissipate power per se but semiconductor devices build on on it do...second I highly doubt it will be 100,000 times, seem silly to claim that...plus really you are only talking about the new material for electron channel, everything else as your drawing shows is a silicon technology! dr Kris
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.