Electrolyte-gate-driven carrier density modulation and metal-insulator transition in semiconducting epitaxial CdO films

Helin Wang, William M. Postiglione, Vipul Chaturvedi, Evan L. Runnerstrom, Angela Cleri, Josh Nordlander, Jon Paul Maria, Chris Leighton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


CdO has drawn much recent interest as a high-room-temperature-mobility oxide semiconductor with exciting potential for mid-infrared photonics and plasmonics. Wide-range modulation of carrier density in CdO is of interest both for fundamental reasons (to explore transport mechanisms in single samples) and for applications (in tunable photonic devices). Here, we thus apply ion-gel-based electrolyte gating to ultrathin epitaxial CdO(001) films, using transport, x-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy to deduce a reversible electrostatic gate response from -4 to +2 V, followed by rapid film degradation at higher gate voltage. Further advancing the mechanistic understanding of electrolyte gating, these observations are explained in terms of low oxygen vacancy diffusivity and high acid etchability in CdO. Most importantly, the 6-V-wide reversible electrostatic gating window is shown to enable ten-fold modulation of the Hall electron density, a striking voltage-induced metal-insulator transition, and 15-fold variation of the electron mobility. Such modulations, which are limited only by unintentional doping levels in ultrathin films, are of exceptional interest for voltage-tunable devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121106
JournalAPL Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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