Role of order and disorder on the electronic performances of oxide semiconductor thin film transistors

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The role of order and disorder on the electronic performances of n-type ionic oxides such as zinc oxide, gallium zinc oxide, and indium zinc oxide used as active (channel) or passive (drain/source) layers in thin film transistors (TFTs) processed at room temperature are discussed, taking as reference the known behavior observed in conventional covalent semiconductors such as silicon. The work performed shows that while in the oxide semiconductors the Fermi level can be pinned up within the conduction band, independent of the state of order, the same does not happen with silicon. Besides, in the oxide semiconductors the carrier mobility is not bandtail limited and so disorder does not affect so strongly the mobility as it happens in covalent semiconductors. The electrical properties of the oxide films (resistivity, carrier concentration, and mobility) are highly dependent on the oxygen vacancies (source of free carriers), which can be controlled by changing the oxygen partial pressure during the deposition process and/or by adding other metal ions to the matrix. In this case, we make the oxide matrix less sensitive to the presence of oxygen, widening the range of oxygen partial pressures that can be used and thus improving the process control of the film resistivity. The results obtained in fully transparent TFT using polycrystalline ZnO or amorphous indium zinc oxide (IZO) as channel layers and highly conductive poly/nanocrystalline ZGO films or amorphous IZO as drain/source layers show that both devices work in the enhancement mode, but the TFT with the highest electronic saturation mobility and on/off ratio 49.9 cm(2)/V s and 4.3x10(8), respectively, are the ones in which the active and passive layers are amorphous. The ZnO TFT whose channel is based on polycrystalline ZnO, the mobility and on/off ratio are, respectively, 26 cm(2)/V s and 3x10(6). This behavior is attributed to the fact that the electronic transport is governed by the s-like metal cation conduction bands, not significantly affected by any type of angular disorder promoted by the 2p O states related to the valence band, or small amounts of incorporated metal impurities that lead to a better control of vacancies and of the TFT off current. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)044505
JournalJournal Of Applied Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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