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Korean Research Team Develops One Atom Thick Semiconductor
0.25 Nanometers Thin
Korean Research Team Develops One Atom Thick Semiconductor
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • June 26, 2015, 06:30
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A single-crystal hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is grown on top of single-crystal graphene substrate using the newly-discovered process.
A single-crystal hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is grown on top of single-crystal graphene substrate using the newly-discovered process.

 

A local research team has successfully developed a technique to make the thinnest semiconductor possible.

The National Research Foundation announced on June 25 that Professor Ahn Jong-ryeol and Ph.D. student Shin Ha-cheol at Sungkyunkwan University succeeded in developing a technique for a 0.25 nm semiconductor. The width is the minimum limit for making nanomaterials, because ~0.25 nm is the diameter of one atom.

Local semiconductor companies are currently conducting studies to make 10 nm semiconductor devices, but this research team pushed the limits, since they thought that it would be possible to produce a semiconductor material just one atom thick.

The research team successfully grew a 0.25 nm single-crystal semiconductor material on a silicon carbide substrate by alloying graphene, a conducting material, and boron nitride with the property of an insulator into a 2D form (a folded form of the two materials). 

Professor Ahn said, “Both graphene and boron nitride have a honeycomb-shaped structure with the same size. So, we were able to create a single-crystal property necessary for semiconductor devices, using a method to make a one-layered alloy in which a crystal of one material was settled between crystals of the other material in a horizontal fashion.”

They also succeeded in making a field effect transistor that amplifies the voltage using the 0.25 nm semiconductor material, which proved that the material can be utilized as a semiconductor device.

Professor Ahn explained, “Our research is significant in that it laid the groundwork for the commercialization of 0.25 nm class semiconductor devices.”

The research findings were first published online on May 14 by the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.