Purdue PhD students win best paper award at 2023 IEEE IEDM
Chang Niu and Zehao Lin, PhD students in Purdue University’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been awarded the 2023 Roger A. Haken Best Student Paper Award by the 2023 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM). Niu and Lin are students of Peide Ye, Richard J. and Mary Jo Schwartz Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The paper, entitled "Record-Low Metal to Semiconductor Contact Resistance in Atomic-Layer-Deposited In2O3 TFTs Reaching the Quantum Limit," details the results of a study that unveils the fundamental physics why and how to significantly improve metal-to-semiconductor contacts in transistors. Researchers used a material called In2O3 deposited in atomic layers to create the transistors.
They achieved a remarkable achievement by reaching a very low resistance at the point where the metal and semiconductor meet. This low resistance, at 23.4 ohm-micrometer, is close to the theoretical limit known as the Landauer quantum limit. Lower resistance is desirable in electronics because it allows for better performance.
“The deep understanding of semiconductor physics is the key to making this breakthrough in electronic materials and device research,” said Ye.
Researchers designed these transistors to be compatible with the back-end-of-line (BEOL) process, which is a series of key steps in future 3-dimensional integrated circuits (ICs). They tested the transistors in both long and short channels (different lengths of the transistor) and, in both cases, observed excellent performance.
The paper is also co-authored with other PhD students Z. Zhang, P. Tan, M. Si, Z. Shang, Y. Zhang, and Haiyan Wang, Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering.
They also investigated the performance of these transistors under various conditions, such as different temperatures, oxygen annealing, and channel thicknesses. This thorough analysis gives valuable insight into how to make ideal contacts on the novel channel materials.
The 2023 Roger A. Haken Best Student Paper Award will be presented at the 2024 IEDM conference in San Francisco, CA.