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Sensitivity of Carbon Nanotube Transistors to a Charged Dielectric Coating

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3 Author(s)
Pennington, Gary ; Army Res. Lab., Adelphi, MD ; Ervin, M.H. ; Wickenden, A.E.

This paper investigates the electronic properties of single-walled carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (SWCNT-FETs) in which the SWCNT element is coated with a charged dielectric. The presence of remote charge on the surface of the dielectric is considered to effect carrier transport in the nanotube as a result of both carrier-scattering and gate screening. Nanotube device characteristics are simulated using the multi- subband Boltzmann transport method incorporating scattering from both phonons and remote charges. This allows assessment of the sensitivity of a nanotube FET to the presence of a charged dielectric coating during room temperature operation. Results show remote charge scattering affects the diameter (d) dependence of the peak conductance and peak field-effect mobility of carbon nanotube devices. Under phonon-limited transport conditions, these peak values increase as ~ d and ~ d2, respectively. When remote charge scattering is significant, peak values cease to vary with diameter once a critical diameter reached. Charge scattering is found to particularly degrade device current at gate voltages that allow carriers scattering into or out of a subband minimum. Furthermore, simulations show that intersubband scattering resulting from asymmetry in the circumferential remote charge density becomes increasingly important as the nanotube length decreases. The authors propose that remote charge scattering effects may be applicable in sensing devices allowing for the identification of the charge on a functionalized CNT coating.

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 6 )