“Researchers led by Mathieu Luisier from the Institute for Integrated Systems (IIS) at ETH Zurich and NCCR MARVEL’s Director Nicola Marzari at EPFL have set out to develop a comprehensive atlas of 2-D materials that might be capable of challenging currently manufactured silicon-based transistors, so-called Si FinFETs. The new simulations are based on earlier results from Marzari and his team, who used complex simulations on the Swiss National Supercomuting Centre’s supercomputer “Piz Daint” to sift through a pool of more than 100,000 materials to identify 1,825 from which it might be possible to obtain 2-D layers of material. The paper 2‑D Materials for Ultrascaled Field-Effect Transistors: One Hundred Candidates under the Ab Initio Microscope, recently published in the journal ACS Nano, identifies 13 particularly promising candidates.
The functionality of electronic devices has been growing for more than five decades straight thanks to the continued miniaturization of transistors—the relevant areas of the silicon Finfield-effect transistors (FinFETs) now being produced are no more than a couple of nanometers in any direction.
While this miniaturization is driving performance, manufacturing them is extremely difficult and gives rise to strong quantum mechanical effects such as inter/intra-band tunneling that might negatively impact their switching performance. Resulting ultrashort gate lengths also mean that maintaining good electrostatic properties has become difficult, even with multigate architectures. Researchers have therefore been exploring different options to extend Moore’s scaling law (More-Moore) or go beyond it (More-than-Moore). The remarkable properties of single-layer 2-D materials suggest that they could be excellent candidates for doing this. “