Most of the current flow in a semiconductor transistor occurs within a very narrow, nano-scale region known as the transistor ‘channel’. This region lies at interface (i.e. boundary) of two different materials in the device and the current is generally reduced by imperfections along the interface. Certain oxide materials, on the other hand, demonstrate exceptional current flow along their interface, where imperfections between two insulating oxides lead to a highly conducting channel!
Today, oxide materials form an important and challenging part of transistor design. Some of them play a key role as the gate insulator in advanced transistors. Some are unique in their own right – acting as an insulator as well as a conductor under different conditions. Others have inter-related electronic, magnetic, thermal, optical and structural properties. However, they are all unified in their potential for electronic applications and are under intense investigation by physicists and engineers. Oxide electronics impacts a wide range of applications, including photonics, spintronics and advanced CMOS & memory devices.
Here are stories from our lab on our exploration of this field.