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Janissek, Alexander; Lenz, Jakob; del Giudice, Fabio; Gaulke, Marco; Pyatkov, Felix; Dehm, Simone; Hennrich, Frank; Wei, Li; Chen, Yuan; Fediai, Artem; Kappes, Manfred; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Krupke, Ralph and Weitz, R. Thomas (2021): Ionic liquid gating of single-walled carbon nanotube devices with ultra-short channel length down to 10nm. In: Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 118, No. 6, 63101

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Ionic liquids enable efficient gating of materials with nanoscale morphology due to the formation of a nanoscale double layer that can also follow strongly vaulted surfaces. On carbon nanotubes, this can lead to the formation of a cylindrical gate layer, allowing an ideal control of the drain current even at small gate voltages. In this work, we apply ionic liquid gating to chirality-sorted (9, 8) carbon nanotubes bridging metallic electrodes with gap sizes of 20nm and 10nm. The single-tube devices exhibit diameter-normalized current densities of up to 2.57mA/mu m, on-off ratios up to 10(4), and a subthreshold swing down to 100mV/dec. Measurements after long vacuum storage indicate that the hysteresis of ionic liquid gated devices depends not only on the gate voltage sweep rate and the polarization dynamics but also on charge traps in the vicinity of the carbon nanotube, which, in turn, might act as trap states for the ionic liquid ions. The ambipolar transfer characteristics are compared with calculations based on the Landauer-Buttiker formalism. Qualitative agreement is demonstrated, and the possible reasons for quantitative deviations and possible improvements to the model are discussed. Besides being of fundamental interest, the results have potential relevance for biosensing applications employing high-density device arrays.

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