GaAs was central to the development of quantum devices but is rarely used for nanowire-based quantum devices with InAs, InSb and SiGe instead taking the leading role. p-type GaAs nanowires offer a path to studying strongly confined 0D and 1D hole systems with strong spin–orbit effects, motivating our development of nanowire transistors featuring Be-doped p-type GaAs nanowires, AuBe alloy contacts and patterned local gate electrodes towards making nanowire-based quantum hole devices. We report on nanowire transistors with traditional substrate back-gates and EBL-defined metal/oxide top-gates produced using GaAs nanowires with three different Be-doping densities and various AuBe contact processing recipes. We show that contact annealing only brings small improvements for the moderately doped devices under conditions of lower anneal temperature and short anneal time. We only obtain good transistor performance for moderate doping, with conduction freezing out at low temperature for lowly doped nanowires and inability to reach a clear off-state under gating for the highly doped nanowires. Our best devices give on-state conductivity 95 nS, off-state conductivity 2 pS, on-off ratio , and sub-threshold slope 50 mV/dec at K. Lastly, we made a device featuring a moderately doped nanowire with annealed contacts and multiple top-gates. Top-gate sweeps show a plateau in the sub-threshold region that is reproducible in separate cool-downs and indicative of possible conductance quantisation highlighting the potential for future quantum device studies in this material system.
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