Materials and device innovations are the keys to future technology revolution. For MOSFET scaling in particular, semiconductors with ultra-thin thickness on insulator platform is currently of great interest, due to the potential of integrating excellent channel materials with the industrially mature Si processing. Meanwhile, ultra-thin thickness also induces strong quantum confinement which in turn affect most of the material properties of these 2-dimensional (2-D) semiconductors, providing unprecedented opportunities for emerging technologies.
In this thesis, multiple novel 2-D material systems are explored. Chapter one introduces the present challenges faced by MOSFET scaling. Chapter two covers the integration of ultrathin III-V membranes with Si. Free standing ultrathin III-V is studied to enable high performance III-V on Si MOSFETs with strain engineering and alloying. Chapter three studies the light absorption in 2-D membranes. Experimental results and theoretical analysis reveal that light absorption in the 2-D quantum membranes is quantized into a fundamental physical constant, where we call it the quantum unit of light absorption, irrelevant of most of the material dependent parameters.
Chapter four starts to focus on another 2-D system, atomic thin layered chalcogenides. Single and few layered chalcogenides are first explored as channel materials, with focuses in engineering the contacts for high performance MOSFETs. Contact treatment by molecular doping methods reveals that many layered chalcogenides other than MoS2 exhibit good transport properties at single layer limit. Finally, Chapter five investigated 2-D van der Waals heterostructures built from different single layer chalcogenides. The investigation in a WSe2/MoS2 hetero-bilayer shows a large Stokes like shift between photoluminescence peak and lowest absorption peak, as well as strong photoluminescence intensity, consistent with spatially indirect transition in a type II band alignment in this van der Waals heterostructure. This result enables new family of semiconductor heterostructures having tunable optoelectronic properties with customized composite layers and highlights the ability to build van der Waals semiconductor heterostructure lasers/LEDs.