Radial modulation doping in core-shell nanowires

  • Dillen D
  • Kim K
  • Liu E
 et al. 
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Semiconductor nanowires are potential candidates for applications in quantum information processing, Josephson junctions and field-effect transistors and provide a unique test bed for low-dimensional physical phenomena. The ability to fabricate nanowire heterostructures with atomically flat, defect-free interfaces enables energy band engineering in both axial and radial directions. The design of radial, or core-shell, nanowire heterostructures relies on energy band offsets that confine charge carriers into the core region, potentially reducing scattering from charged impurities on the nanowire surface. Key to the design of such nanoscale heterostructures is a fundamental understanding of the heterointerface properties, particularly energy band offsets and strain. The charge-transfer and confinement mechanism can be used to achieve modulation doping in core-shell structures. By selectively doping the shell, which has a larger bandgap, charge carriers are donated and confined in the core, generating a quasi-one-dimensional electron system with higher mobility. Here, we demonstrate radial modulation doping in coherently strained Ge-SixGe1-x core-shell nanowires and a technique to directly measure their valence band offset. Radial modulation doping is achieved by incorporating a B-doped layer during epitaxial shell growth. In contrast to previous work showing site-selective doping in Ge-Si core-shell nanowires, we find both an enhancement in peak hole mobility compared with undoped nanowires and observe a decoupling of electron transport in the core and shell regions. This decoupling stems from the higher carrier mobility in the core than in the shell and allows a direct measurement of the valence band offset for nanowires of various shell compositions.

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  • David C. Dillen

  • Kyounghwan Kim

  • En Shao Liu

  • Emanuel Tutuc

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