Flexoelectronics of centrosymmetric semiconductors

Journal: Nature Nanotechnology

Published: 2020-06-22

DOI: 10.1038/s41565-020-0700-y

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 8

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Research Highlight

A new form of electronics realized in silicon

© PASIEKA/Getty

© PASIEKA/Getty

An emerging form of electronics has been extended to garden-variety semiconductors such as silicon and germanium.

The miniaturization of conventional electronics is beginning to bump up against physical limits beyond which it cannot go. Consequently, researchers are exploring a new form of electronics that applies mechanical pressure to induce local polarization in semiconductors via a phenomenon known as the piezoelectric effect.

So far this approach can only be used in semiconductors that have a certain crystal symmetry, meaning it cannot be used on conventional semiconductors such as silicon and gallium arsenide.

Now, a team that included researchers at Lanzhou University in China has found a way around this limitation. They induced a piezoelectric-like response in conventional semiconductors through distorting the crystal structure by applying pressure. The team used this approach to mechanically switch the electronics on a nanoscale.

This demonstration raises the possibility of realizing strain-modulated electronics in conventional semiconductors.

Supported content

  1. Nature Nanotechnology 15, 661–667 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41565-020-0700-y
Institutions Share
Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems (BINN), CAS, China 0.23
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China 0.17
Xidian University, China 0.13
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore 0.13
Zhejiang University (ZJU), China 0.13
Lanzhou University (LZU), China 0.13
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), United States of America (USA) 0.10

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