"Gate-Induced Metal-Insulator Transition in MoS2 by Solid Superionic Conductor LaF3"

Chun-Lan Wu: Hongtao Yuan, Yanbin Li, Yongji Gong, Harold Y. Hwang, and Yi Cui; Nano Letters, 03/26/18.

Additional Authors: Hongtao Yuan, Yanbin Li, Yongji Gong, Harold Y. Hwang, and Yi Cui

Abstract:

Electric-double-layer (EDL) gating with liquid electrolyte has been a powerful tool widely used to explore emerging interfacial electronic phenomena. Due to the large EDL capacitance, a high carrier density up to 1014 cm–2 can be induced, directly leading to the realization of field-induced insulator to metal (or superconductor) transition. However, the liquid nature of the electrolyte has created technical issues including possible side electrochemical reactions or intercalation, and the potential for huge strain at the interface during cooling. In addition, the liquid coverage of active devices also makes many surface characterizations and in situ measurements challenging. Here, we demonstrate an all solid-state EDL device based on a solid superionic conductor LaF3, which can be used as both a substrate and a fluorine ionic gate dielectric to achieve a wide tunability of carrier density without the issues of strain or electrochemical reactions and can expose the active device surface for external access. Based on LaF3 EDL transistors (EDLTs), we observe the metal–insulator transition in MoS2. Interestingly, the well-defined crystal lattice provides a more uniform potential distribution in the substrate, resulting in less interface electron scattering and therefore a higher mobility in MoS2 transistors. This result shows the powerful gating capability of LaF3 solid electrolyte for new possibilities of novel interfacial electronic phenomena.