Electric-field-assisted formation of an interfacial double-donor molecule in silicon nano-transistors.

Scientific reports

PubMedID: 26616434

Samanta A, Moraru D, Mizuno T, Tabe M. Electric-field-assisted formation of an interfacial double-donor molecule in silicon nano-transistors. Sci Rep. 2015;517377.
Control of coupling of dopant atoms in silicon nanostructures is a fundamental challenge for dopant-based applications. However, it is difficult to find systems of only a few dopants that can be directly addressed and, therefore, experimental demonstration has not yet been obtained. In this work, we identify pairs of donor atoms in the nano-channel of a silicon field-effect transistor and demonstrate merging of the donor-induced potential wells at the interface by applying vertical electric field. This system can be described as an interfacial double-donor molecule. Single-electron tunneling current is used to probe the modification of the potential well. When merging occurs at the interface, the gate capacitance of the potential well suddenly increases, leading to an abrupt shift of the tunneling current peak to lower gate voltages. This is due to the decrease of the system's charging energy, as confirmed by Coulomb blockade simulations. These results represent the first experimental observation of electric-field-assisted formation of an interfacial double-donor molecule, opening a pathway for designing functional devices using multiple coupled dopant atoms.