Vacuum tubes were central to the early development of electronics, but were replaced, decades ago, by semiconductor transistors. Vacuum channel devices, however, offer inherently faster operation and better noise immunity due to the nature of their channel. They are also stable in harsh environments such as radiation and high temperature. However, to be a plausible alternative to solid-state electronics, nanoscale vacuum channel devices need to be fabricated on the wafer scale using established integrated circuit manufacturing techniques. Here, we show that nanoscale vacuum channel transistors can be fabricated on 150 mm silicon carbide wafers. Our devices have a vertical surround-gate configuration and we show that their drive current scales linearly with the number of emitters on the source pad. The silicon carbide vacuum devices are also compared to identically sized silicon vacuum channel transistors, which reveals that the silicon carbide devices offer superior long-term stability.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $8.25 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
The data that support the graphs within this Article and further details of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Jo, S. H. et al. Nanoscale memristor device as synapse in neuromorphic systems. Nano Lett. 10, 1297–1301 (2010).
Kuzum, D., Yu, S. & Wong, H.-S. P. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications. Nanotechnology 24, 382001 (2013).
Nawrocki, R. A., Voyles, R. M. & Shaheen, S. E. A mini review of neuromorphic architectures and implementations. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 63, 3819–3829 (2016).
Shulaker, M. M. et al. Carbon nanotube circuit integration up to sub-20 nm channel lengths. ACS Nano 8, 3434–3443 (2014).
Frankkin, A. D. et al. Carbon nanotube complementay wrap-gate transistors. Nano Lett. 13, 2490–2495 (2013).
Schwierz, F. Graphene transistors: status, prospects and problems. Proc. IEEE 101, 1567–1584 (2013).
Schwierz, F. et al. Two-dimensional materials and their prospects in transistor electronics. Nanoscale 7, 8261–8283 (2015).
Su, Y., Chen, P., Lin, C. & Helmy, A. S. Highly sensitive wavelength-scale amorphous hybrid plasmonic detectors. Optica 4, 1259–1262 (2017).
Bandyopadhyay, S. & Cahay, M. Reexamination of some spintronic field-effect device concepts. Appl. Phys. Lett. 85, 1433–1435 (2004).
Han, J. W., Oh, J. S. & Meyyappan, M. Vacuum nanotransistors: back to the future? Gate insulated nanoscale vacuum transistor. Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 213505 (2012).
Han, J. W., Moon, D. I. & Meyyappan, M. Nanoscale vacuum channel transistor. Nano Lett. 17, 2146–2151 (2017).
Srisonphan, S., Jung, Y. S. & Kim, H. K. Metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect-transistor with a vacuum channel. Nat. Nanotechnol. 7, 504–508 (2012).
Nirantar, S. et al. Metal–air transitors: semiconductor-free field-emission air-channel nanoelectronics. Nano Lett. 18, 7478–7484 (2018).
Stoner, B. R. & Glass, J. T. Nothing is like a vacuum. Nat. Nanotechnol. 7, 485–487 (2012).
Kim, J. S., Lee, J. S., Han, J. W. & Meyyappan, M. Single event transient in FinFETs and nanosheet FETs. IEEE Electron Dev. Lett. 39, 1840–1843 (2018).
Kim, J. S., Lee, J. S., Han, J. W. & Meyyappan, M. Caution: abnormal variability due to terrestrial cosmic rays in scaled down FinFETs. IEEE. Trans. Electron Devices 66, 1887–1891 (2019).
Subramanian, K., Kang, W. P. & Davidson, J. L. Nanocrystalline diamond lateral vacuum microtriodes. Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 203511 (2008).
Subramanian, K. et al. Nanodiamond planar lateral field emission diode. Diamond Relat. Mater. 14, 2099–2104 (2005).
Kim, J. et al. Work function consideration in vacuum field emission transistor design. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 35, 062203 (2017).
Liu, M., Li, T. & Wang, Y. SiC emitters for nanoscale vacuum electronics: a systematic study of cathode–anode gap by focused ion beam etching. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 35, 031801 (2017).
Neudeck, P. G. et al. Demonstration of 4H-SiC digital integrated circuits above 800 °C. IEEE Electron Device Lett. 38, 1082–1085 (2017).
Neudeck, P. G. et al. Prolonged silicon carbide integrated circuit operation in Venus surface atmospheric conditions. AIP Adv. 6, 125119 (2015).
De Heer, W. A., Châtelain, A. & Ugate, D. A. Carbon nanotube field-emission electron source. Science 17, 1179–1180 (1995).
Bonard, J.-M. et al. Carbon nanotube films as electron field emitters. Carbon 40, 1715–1728 (2002).
Xu, J. et al. Graphene-based nanoscale vacuum channel transistor. Nanoscale Res. Lett. 13, 311 (2018).
Miller., J. M. Dependence of the input impedance of a three-electrode vacuum tube upon the load in the plate circuit. Sci. Papers Bureau Standards 15, 367–385 (1920).
Liu, M. et al. Excellent field emission properties of VO2(A) nanogap emitters in air. Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 093104 (2018).
This work was supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) within the Planetary Science Division (PSD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. The authors thank Q.-V. Nguyen for his support of this work. The authors acknowledge M. Carts and J. Pellish from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for their help with radiation measurements.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Han, JW., Seol, ML., Moon, DI. et al. Nanoscale vacuum channel transistors fabricated on silicon carbide wafers. Nat Electron 2, 405–411 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-019-0289-z
Quasiadiabatic electron transport in room temperature nanoelectronic devices induced by hot-phonon bottleneck
Nature Communications (2021)
Nature Communications (2021)
Nature Electronics (2020)
Journal of Computational Electronics (2020)
Nature Electronics (2019)