Water-Induced Scandium Oxide Dielectric for Low-Operating Voltage n- and p-Type Metal-Oxide Thin-Film Transistors

Ao Liu, Guoxia Liu, Huihui Zhu, Huijun Song, Byoungchul Shin, Elvira Fortunato, Rodrigo Martins, Fukai Shan

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125 Citations (Scopus)


Solution-processed metal-oxide thin films based on high dielectric constant (k) materials have been extensively studied for use in low-cost and high-performance thin-film transistors (TFTs). Here, scandium oxide (ScOx) is fabricated as a TFT dielectric with excellent electrical properties using a novel water-inducement method. The thin films are annealed at various temperatures and characterized by using X-ray diffraction, atomic-force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, and a series of electrical measurements. The optimized ScOx thin film exhibits a low-leakage current density of 0.2 nA cm-2 at 2 MV cm-1, a large areal capacitance of 460 nF cm-2 at 20 Hz and a permittivity of 12.1. To verify the possible applications of ScOx thin films as the gate dielectric in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) electronics, they were integrated in both n-type InZnO (IZO) and p-type CuO TFTs for testing. The water-induced full oxide IZO/ScOx TFTs exhibit an excellent performance, including a high electron mobility of 27.7 cm2 V-1 s-1, a large current ratio (Ion/Ioff) of 2.7 × 107 and high stability. Moreover, as far as we know it is the first time that solution-processed p-type oxide TFTs based on a high-k dielectric are achieved. The as-fabricated p-type CuO/ScOx TFTs exhibit a large Ion/Ioff of around 105 and a hole mobility of 0.8 cm2 V-1 at an operating voltage of 3 V. To the best of our knowledge, these electrical parameters are among the highest performances for solution-processed p-type TFTs, which represents a great step towards the achievement of low-cost, all-oxide, and low-power consumption CMOS logics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7180-7188
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015


  • dielectric properties
  • metal oxides
  • thin films
  • transistors


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