Post-Grant Reports


Exploring Novel 2-D Semiconductor Materials

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Electronic Devices and Semiconductor Manufacturing | Materials Science and Engineering | Physics | Semiconductor and Optical Materials


This year-long sabbatical was spent in residence with David Cobden’s research group at the University of Washington. It was supported by a National Science Foundation Research Opportunity Award.1 Our research focused on electronic transport in two-dimensional materials and devices, especially field effect transistors with monolayer WSe2 as the active layer. We explored various contact materials and structures, striving to optimize the contacts so that the true behavior of the WSe2 could be discerned from contact effects. Device performance continues to be highly inconsistent, and it is not clear if this originates from variations in the WSe2, in the contacts, or at their interface. To better understand this behavior, and to further explore carrier motion and screening in two-dimensions, devices are currently being studied using Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy in collaboration with the David Ginger research group, also at the University of Washington. This research is ongoing.

Three University of Washington undergraduate students collaborated in this research, which was presented at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society in New Orleans, LA, winning an undergraduate presentation award.2 This sabbatical also resulted in a proposal to the National Science Foundation for an atomic force microscope, which will be resubmitted in January 2018.3 A proposal has been submitted to the Murdock foundation to support Linfield faculty-student research on related topics in two-dimensional materials.4

1 D. H. Cobden and J. T. Heath, “Carrier dynamics and spin transport in spin-valley coupled materials and devices,” National Science Foundation, $102,874, August 2016.

2 F. McKay, M. Seitz, M. Adams, P. Nguyen, B. Dzyubenko, J. Heath, and D. Cobden, “Scalable Growth and Characterization of Monolayer WSe2,” March Meeting of the American Physical Society, New Orleans, LA, March 2017 (oral presentation).

3 J. T. Heath, D. Altman, M. Crosser, and A. Atkinson, “MRI: Acquisition of an Atomic Force Microscope to Enhance Interdisciplinary Research and Training,” National Science Foundation, January 2017, $286,769 (to be resubmitted, January 2018).

4 J. T. Heath, “Two-dimensional devices: potential barriers and screening,” submitted to the Murdock Foundation, $92,206 (in review).


This research was conducted as part of a sabbatical leave in 2016-2017.

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