Tunneling Properties of the Charge Carriers through Sub-2-nm-Thick Oxide in Ge/a - Ge O2/Ge Structures Using the First-Principles Scattering-State Method

Eunjung Ko, Kai Liu, Cheol Seong Hwang, Hyoung Joon Choi, Jung Hae Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The quantum-mechanical tunneling passing through the sub-2-nm-thick oxide in Ge/a-GeO2/Ge structures is presented, using the first-principles scattering-state method, where a stands for the amorphous phase. The suboxide interface layer (IL) between Ge and the dioxide region (DOX) does not play a critical role in blocking tunneling due to the presence of Ge - Ge bonds in it. The thickness of DOX, where all the Ge has four Ge - O bonds, is the effective tunneling-blocking thickness and the thickness for the thinnest usable a-GeO2 is approximately 0.85 nm. The width and magnitude of the band offset differently affect the tunneling in the sub-2-nm-thick oxide. The valence-band offset is larger and thicker than the conduction-band offset for all the structures, resulting in the smaller tunneling current of the holes than of the electrons. It is also found that the effect of the hydrogen passivation at the IL on tunneling is not evident in semiconductor/a-oxide. The crystallographic orientation of Ge has no distinct effect on the band-gap alignment and the tunneling current in Ge/a-GeO2/Ge structures, consistent with the experimental results about the effect of the Ge orientation on the interface properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034016
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support provided by the Future Semiconductor Device Technology Development Program (Grant No. 10048490) funded by MOTIE and KSRC, and by the Institutional Research Program of KIST (Grant No. 2E29390). E.K. also acknowledges the Program for Returners into R&D (WISET Grants No. 2016-251, No. 2017-337, and No. 2018-310) of NRF and WISET funded by MSIT, Korea. The authors would also like to acknowledge the support from KISTI Supercomputing Center through the Strategic Support Program for Supercomputing Application Research (Grants No. KSC-2016-C3-0023 and No. KSC-2017-C3-0035). E.K. performed and analyzed all the calculations. K.L. assisted in the generation of the atomic structures and discussed the technical contexts. C.S.H. helped in the preparation of the manuscript from the viewpoint of an expert in nanoelectronic devices. H.J.C. provided the transport code and discussed the technical issues. J.-H.C. arranged, supervised all the calculations, and took charge of the manuscript preparation. All the authors discussed and reviewed the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Physical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Tunneling Properties of the Charge Carriers through Sub-2-nm-Thick Oxide in Ge/a - Ge O2/Ge Structures Using the First-Principles Scattering-State Method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this