Low-Temperature, Nontoxic Water-Induced Metal-Oxide Thin Films and Their Application in Thin-Film Transistors

Guoxia Liu, Ao Liu, Huihui Zhu, Byoungchul Shin, Elvira Fortunato, Rodrigo Martins, Yiqian Wang, Fukai Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, a simple, nontoxic, and inexpensive "water-inducement" technique for the fabrication of oxide thin films at low annealing temperatures is reported. For water-induced (WI) precursor solution, the solvent is composed of water without additional organic additives and catalysts. The thermogravimetric analysis indicates that the annealing temperature can be lowered by prolonging the annealing time. A systematic study is carried out to reveal the annealing condition dependence on the performance of the thin-film transistors (TFTs). The WI indium-zinc oxide (IZO) TFT integrated on SiO2 dielectric, annealed at 300 °C for 2 h, exhibits a saturation mobility of 3.35 cm2 V-1 s-1 and an on-to-off current ratio of ≈108. Interestingly, through prolonging the annealing time to 4 h, the electrical parameters of IZO TFTs annealed at 230 °C are comparable with the TFTs annealed at 300 °C. Finally, fully WI IZO TFT based on YOx dielectric is integrated and investigated. This TFT device can be regarded as "green electronics" in a true sense, because no organic-related additives are used during the whole device fabrication process. The as-fabricated IZO/YOx TFT exhibits excellent electron transport characteristics with low operating voltage (≈1.5 V), small subthreshold swing voltage of 65 mV dec-1 and the mobility in excess of 25 cm2 V-1 s-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2564-2572
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2015


  • Green electronics
  • High-k dielectric
  • Low-temperature process
  • Thin-film transistors
  • Water-inducement method

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