Monolayer Molybdenum Disulfide Wwitches for 6G Communication Systems

A new semiconductor device for applications in 6G data communication has been developed. It has attracted considerable attention, capable of processing digital signals significantly faster and being more energy-efficient than anything available today.

Professor Myungsoo Kim (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UNIST) developed low-power, high-speed analog switches, in collaboration with researchers from the United States, France, and Israel. An analog switch is a solid-state semiconductor device that selectively passes or blocks the wireless signals. Their findings have been published in the June 2022 issue of Nature Electronics, a sister publication to Nature.

To better support wireless communications, such as autonomous driving and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) with 6G, the sixth generation of wireless communications technologies, the power consumption of communication devices must be reduced. Conventional analogue and radio-frequency (RF) switches based on solid-state diode or transistor devices are volatile and consume energy during switching events and also during standby or when idle in the ON and OFF states, noted the research team.

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Figure 1. (a) Simplified perspective-view illustration of the MoS2 RF switch with a vertical MIM structure, (b) QAM16 and QAM32 constellation diagrams for devices with the THRU and ON state, (c) High-frequency THz performance of MoS2 non-volatile switch.

In this study, the research team reported nanoscale non-volatile analogue switches based on monolayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) for applications in 6G data communication.

According to the research team, these switches exhibit low insertion loss and high isolation up to 480 GHz due to their nanoscale vertical and lateral dimensions, which results in low resistance in the ON state and low capacitance in the OFF state, respectively. Besides, the devices achieved a data rate of 100 Gbit s-1 (conforming to the IEEE 6G standard for high-frequency components), with low error-vector magnitude (EVM), low bit error rate (BER), and high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

The research team also demonstrated the high performance of the MoS2 switches through the eye diagram and constellation diagram measurements using various complex modulation methods. They anticipate that “MoS2-based non-volatile analogue switches could be a valuable component in high-data-rate 6G data communication and related systems.”

This study has also been highlighted in the ‘Research Briefing’ of Nature Electronics as “A solid-state electronic switch based on an atomic sheet of molybdenum disulfide is demonstrated in the 6G communication band with very high speed data transmission.”

This study has been jointly participated by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin in United States, the University of Lille in France, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel. It has also been supported through the UNIST U-K brand projects.

Journal Reference

Kim, M., Ducournau, G., Skrzypczak, S. et al., “Monolayer molybdenum disulfide switches for 6G communication systems,” Nat. Electron., (2022).

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