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High-frequency, scaled graphene transistors on diamond-like carbon

Abstract

Owing to its high carrier mobility and saturation velocity, graphene has attracted enormous attention in recent years1,2,3,4,5. In particular, high-performance graphene transistors for radio-frequency (r.f.) applications are of great interest6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13. Synthesis of large-scale graphene sheets of high quality and at low cost has been demonstrated using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) methods14. However, very few studies have been performed on the scaling behaviour of transistors made from CVD graphene for r.f. applications, which hold great potential for commercialization. Here we report the systematic study of top-gated CVD-graphene r.f. transistors with gate lengths scaled down to 40 nm, the shortest gate length demonstrated on graphene r.f. devices. The CVD graphene was grown on copper film and transferred to a wafer of diamond-like carbon. Cut-off frequencies as high as 155 GHz have been obtained for the 40-nm transistors, and the cut-off frequency was found to scale as 1/(gate length). Furthermore, we studied graphene r.f. transistors at cryogenic temperatures. Unlike conventional semiconductor devices where low-temperature performance is hampered by carrier freeze-out effects, the r.f. performance of our graphene devices exhibits little temperature dependence down to 4.3 K, providing a much larger operation window than is available for conventional devices.

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Figure 1: Fabrication and output characteristics for graphene r.f. transistors.
Figure 2: Cut-off frequencies for three different devices at room temperature.
Figure 3: Scaling behaviour of cut-off frequencies with gate length down to 40 nm.
Figure 4: Temperature dependence of cut-off frequency for different devices.

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Acknowledgements

We thank T. Graham, B. Ek, J. Bucchignano, C. V. Jahnes and S. Han for technical assistance, and C. Y. Sung, V. Perebeinos, A. Valdes-Garcia, C. Dimitrakopoulos, W. Zhu and H.-Y. Chiu for discussions. This work was supported in part by DARPA through the CERA programme (contract FA8650-08-C-7838). The views, opinions and findings contained in this Letter are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies, either expressed or implied, of DARPA or the US Department of Defense.

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Contributions

Y.W., Y.-m.L. and P.A. designed the experiment, and Y.W. performed device fabrication, electrical characterization and data analysis. Y.-m.L. and K.A.J. contributed to the r.f. characterization. A.A.B. performed graphene synthesis, and F.X. helped to prepare the DLC substrate. Y.-m.L and D.B.F. contributed to device fabrication. Y.Z. performed TEM imaging. Y.W. wrote the Letter, and Y.-m.L. and P.A. discussed and commented on the manuscript. All authors provided feedback.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yu-ming Lin or Phaedon Avouris.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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This file contains Supplementary Text and Data, Supplementary Figures 1-7 with legends and additional references. (PDF 516 kb)

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Wu, Y., Lin, Ym., Bol, A. et al. High-frequency, scaled graphene transistors on diamond-like carbon. Nature 472, 74–78 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09979

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