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Global research team locates vulnerability of advanced semiconductors for nanoelectronics

September 18, 11:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

When coming into contact with the air, gallium selenide is rapidly oxidized and loses its electric conductivity, required for creating nanoelectronic devices

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. Researchers from Russia, Germany, and Venezuela have identified the vulnerability of a 2D semiconductor - gallium selenide - in the air, which makes it possible to create superconducting nanoelectronics based on this material, the press office of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) announced. The results of the study have been published in the journal Semiconductor Science and Technology.

2D semiconductors consist of one or several atomic layers. Due to their portability, electro-conductivity and durability, they can serve as a solid foundation for nanoelectronics. Moreover, they also hold great prospects for use in opto-electronics, but in that case, they must consist of a material which is capable of creating a large flow of electrons when irradiated with light. One such material is gallium selenide.

"Understanding the vulnerability of gallium selenide to oxidation will open up a path to creating reliable protection so it can keep its opto-electronic properties," the press office reported.

According to the study’s co-author, Professor at the Department of Laser and Light Technique of TPU, Raul Rodriguez, all attempts to create a real electronic device based on gallium selenide have not been successful so far. When coming into contact with the air, the material is rapidly oxidized and loses its electric conductivity, required for creating nanoelectronic devices. "Our results show that the oxidation of gallium selenide is a very fast process. The material reaches its oxidized state almost immediately after coming into contact with the air," the researchers commented.

It turns out that in order for gallium selenide to sustain its properties it must be placed in a vacuum or inert medium. For example, it can be placed in capsular devices which are produced in a vacuum, then covered with a protective air-tight layer.

This  technique can also be applied in constructing new opto-electronics, detectors, light sources, and solar cells. The minute sizes of these future devices provide an especially high quantum efficiency, that is the capability of creating large flows of electrons under small external impact.

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