Hopping conduction via ionic liquid induced silicon surface states

J. Nelson, K. V. Reich, M. Sammon, B. I. Shklovskii, A. M. Goldman

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In order to clarify the physics of the gating of solids by ionic liquids (ILs) we have gated lightly doped p-Si, which is so well studied that it can be called the "hydrogen atom of solid state physics" and can be used as a test bed for ionic liquids. We explore the case where the concentration of induced holes at the Si surface is below 1012cm-2, hundreds of times smaller than record values. We find that in this case an excess negative ion binds a hole on the interface between the IL and Si becoming a surface acceptor. We study the surface conductance of holes hopping between such nearest neighbor acceptors. Analyzing the acceptor concentration dependence of this conductivity, we find that the localization length of a hole is in reasonable agreement with our direct variational calculation of its binding energy. The observed hopping conductivity resembles that of well studied Na+ implanted Si MOSFETs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085424
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 21 2015

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© 2015 American Physical Society.

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