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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2011 Jul;11(7):6029-33.

The effect of annealing ambient on the characteristics of an indium-gallium-zinc oxide thin film transistor.

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  • 1Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea.


In this study, the effects of different annealing conditions (air, O2, N2, vacuum) on the chemical and electrical characteristics of amorphous indium-gallium-zinc oxide (a-IGZO) thin film transistors (TFT) were investigated. The contact resistance and interface properties between the IGZO film and the gate dielectric improved after an annealing treatment. However, the chemical bonds in the IGZO bulk changed under various annealing atmospheres, which, in turn, altered the characteristics of the TFTs. The TFTs annealed in vacuum and N2 ambients exhibited undesired switching properties due to the high carrier concentration (>10(17) cm(-3)) of the IGZO active layer. In contrast, the IGZO TFTs annealed in air and oxygen ambients displayed clear transfer characteristics due to an adequately adjusted carrier concentration in the operating range of the TFT. Such an optimal carrier concentration arose through the stabilization of unstable chemical bonds in the IGZO film. With regard to device performance, the TFTs annealed in O2 and air exhibited saturation mobility values of 8.29 and 7.54 cm2/Vs, on-off ratios of 7.34 x 10(8) and 3.95 x 10(8), and subthreshold swing (SS) values of 0.23 and 0.19 V/decade, respectively. Therefore, proper annealing ambients contributed to internal modifications in the IGZO structure and led to an enhancement in the oxidation state of the metal. As a result, defects such as oxygen vacancies were eliminated. Oxygen annealing is thus effective for controlling the carrier concentration of the active layer, decreasing electron traps, and enhancing TFT performance.

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