2D materials for Magnetic and Optoelectronic Sensing Applications
Alkhalifa, Saad Fadhil Ramadhan
Date: 27 July 2018
University of Exeter
PhD in Physics
In the last decade, the emerging classes of two-dimensional (2D) materials have been studied as potential candidates for various sensing technologies, including magnetic and optoelectronic detectors. Within the quickly growing portfolio of 2D materials, graphene and semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have emerged ...
In the last decade, the emerging classes of two-dimensional (2D) materials have been studied as potential candidates for various sensing technologies, including magnetic and optoelectronic detectors. Within the quickly growing portfolio of 2D materials, graphene and semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have emerged as attractive candidates for various sensor applications because of their unique properties such as extreme thickness, excellent electrical and optical properties. In this thesis, I have exploited the unique properties of graphene and TMDs materials to develop 2D detectors based on field effect transistors for sensing magnetic field and light. In the first part of this thesis I have shown how the sensitivity of the properties of 2D materials to their surrounding environment can be turned into a feature useful to create new types of magnetic field sensors. The first experimental demonstration of this concept involved the use of graphene deposited on hexagonal Boron Nitride (h-BN), where the inevitable contaminations occurring at the interface of the two materials was used to generate a large magnetoresistance (MR) for a magnetic field sensor. Specifically, I have demonstrated that the contaminations generate an inhomogeneity in the carrier mobility throughout the channel, which is a required ingredient for magnetic field sensing based on linear magnetoresistance (LMR). Another approach I used to make a LMR sensor was by exploiting the large dependence of the mobility in graphene on the Fermi level position. This concept was used to generate two parallel electron gases with different mobility by tuning the Fermi level with an electrical field employing a field effect transistor. The second part of the thesis is focussed on strategies to reduce the impact of the surrounding environment on the properties of 2D materials in order to improve their performance. In particular, I used a 2D heterostructure encapsulated in an ionic polymer to makeii a highly responsive graphene-TMD photodetector. In this device, the ionic polymer covering the heterostructure was employed to screen the long-lived charge traps that limit the speed of such detectors, resulting in a drastic improvement of the detector responsivity properties. Finally, some of the 2D materials properties are very sensitive to the configuration of the electronics measurement setup. For example, effects behind spintronic and valleytronic concepts require non-local electrical transport measurement. We built a novel circuit that enables the detection of such effects without concern about the spurious contributions.
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