Ultranarrow conducting channels defined in GaAs-AlGaAs by low-energy ion damage

Scherer, A.; Roukes, M. L.; Craighead, H. G.; Ruthen, R. M.; Beebe, E. D.; Harbison, J. P.
December 1987
Applied Physics Letters;12/21/1987, Vol. 51 Issue 25, p2133
Academic Journal
We have laterally patterned the narrowest conducting wires of two-dimensional electron gas (2DEG) material reported to date. The depletion induced by low-energy ion etching of GaAs-AlGaAs 2DEG structures was used to define narrow conducting channels. We employed high voltage electron beam lithography to create a range of channel geometries with widths as small as 75 nm. Using ion beam assisted etching by Cl2 gas and Ar ions with energies as low as 150 eV, conducting channels were defined by etching only through the thin GaAs cap layer. This slight etching is sufficient to entirely deplete the underlying material without necessitating exposure of the sidewalls that results in long lateral depletion lengths. At 4.2 K, without illumination, our narrowest wires retain a carrier density and mobility at least as high as that of the bulk 2DEG and exhibit quantized Hall effects. Aharonov–Bohm oscillations are seen in rings defined by this controlled etch-damage patterning. This patterning technique holds promise for creating one-dimensional conducting wires of even smaller sizes.


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