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Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review

Feilian Chen1, Meng Zhang1, , Yunhao Wan2, Xindi Xu2, Man Wong3 and Hoi-Sing Kwok3

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 Corresponding author: Meng Zhang, zhangmeng@connect.ust.hk, ecezhangmeng@gmail.com

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Abstract: Indium-tin-zinc oxide (ITZO) thin-film transistor (TFT) technology holds promise for achieving high mobility and offers significant opportunities for commercialization. This paper provides a review of progress made in improving the mobility of ITZO TFTs. This paper begins by describing the development and current status of metal-oxide TFTs, and then goes on to explain the advantages of selecting ITZO as the TFT channel layer. The evaluation criteria for TFTs are subsequently introduced, and the reasons and significance of enhancing mobility are clarified. This paper then explores the development of high-mobility ITZO TFTs from five perspectives: active layer optimization, gate dielectric optimization, electrode optimization, interface optimization, and device structure optimization. Finally, a summary and outlook of the research field are presented.

Key words: thin-film transistor (TFT)indium-tin-zinc oxide (ITZO) TFTmobilityactive matrix (AM) displays



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Fig. 1.  (Color online) Schematic diagram of TFT structure classified according to Weimer’s definition and deposition order.

Fig. 2.  Schematic of 2T1C.

Fig. 3.  (Color online) Classification of the method to improve ITZO TFT mobility.

Fig. 4.  (Color online) (a) Transfer characteristics at VDS = 10.1 V, (b) stress-time dependent variation of ITZO TFTs (fabricated by ITZO-1 and ITZO-2 at different powers (60, 80, and 100 W)) at NBS (‒20 V, 3600 s). (c) SEM pattern of ITZO-1. (d) SEM patterns of ITZO-2. (e) Table of film properties and deposition parameters. (f) Table of physical parameters of the target[41]. (a)–(f), © 2021 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [41].

Fig. 5.  (Color online) (a) XRD patterns of USPD- and sputter-deposited ITZO films. (b) PL spectra of USPD- and sputter-deposited ITZO films. (c) Hysteretic IDS-VGS characteristics of TFT-A (USPD-deposited) and TFT-B (sputter-deposited). (d) SS versus stress time (NBIS and PBIS) characteristics of TFT-A and TFT-B[49]. (a)–(d), © 2020 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [49].

Fig. 6.  (Color online) (a) InO0.5–ZnO–SnO2 phase diagram. (b) Schematic of IZTO TFT after RIE etching. Box plots of (c) μfe and (d) VTH for devices with different Zn fractions[61]. (a)–(d), Ref. [61], John Wiley & Sons. [© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH].

Fig. 7.  (Color online) (a) Representative transfer characteristics depending on the thickness combination of ZrO2/SiO2 films. (b) VTH shift during PBTS test. (c) Parameter shift of each TFT after 3600 s of PBTS test[72]. (a)–(c), used with permission of Royal Society of Chemistry, reprinted from Ref. [72] , 2020.

Fig. 8.  (Color online) (a) Transfer characteristics (at VDS = 1 V) of ITZO TFTs with different S/D contacts; (b) schematic band diagram for ITZO TFT with Al, ITO, and Ni electrodes[74]. (a) and (b) reprinted from Ref. [74], Copyright (2015), with permission from Elsevier. (c) Schematics of the diffusion of oxygen vacancies in the ITZO layer from Al S/D electrodes[75]. (d) Schematics of the diffusion of oxygen vacancies in the ITZO layer from Ni S/D electrodes[75]. (c) and (d) Reprinted from Ref. [75], Copyright (2020), with permission from Elsevier.

Fig. 9.  (Color online) (a) Transfer characteristics of untreated and OTES-treated ITZO TFTs on PI substrates. (b) Plot of μfe as a function of gate bias. (c) Variations in threshold voltage shift for untreated and OTES-treated ITZO TFTs, as a function of stress time under separate gate bias voltages of 10 and −10 V. XPS spectra of O 1s peaks of (d) untreated and (e) OTES-treated ITZO films[78]. (a)–(e), © 2020 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [78].

Fig. 10.  (Color online) O 1s spectra of the back channel of the ITZO TFTs (a) without a PVL, (b) with an Al2O3 passivation layer, and (c) with a Sc2O3 passivation layer. (d) Transfer characteristics of the ITZO TFTs with no passivation layer, Al2O3 passivation layer and Sc2O3 passivation layer. (e) Plot of µfe as a function of gate bias[81]. (a) –(e), © 2021 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [81].

Fig. 11.  (Color online) (a) Carbon 1s HAX-PES spectra of as-deposited and post-treated ITZO films. NBS stability of ITZO TFTs (b) without CO exposure, (c) with CO2 exposure, and (d) with CO exposure. (e) Threshold voltage shift of TFTs with different treatment under NBS. (f) NBS stability and (g) PBS stability of UV ozone treated ITZO TFT[83]. (a)–(g) , © 2021 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [83].

Fig. 12.  (Color online) The cross-sectional schematics of (a) an EMMO and (b) an ES TFT and the corresponding layouts of a 500-ppi AMLCD sub-pixel based on (c) an EMMO and an ES TFT with a W/L of 2.5 and a design-rule of 2 µm. (d) The dependence of the resistivity values of metal- and oxide-covered ITZO on thermal treatment time. Shown in the inset are the transfer characteristics of EMMO ITZO TFTs with and without going through a thermal annealing process[85]. (a)–(d), © 2017 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [85]. (e) Schematic diagrams of planar SA TFT (left) and trench SA TFT (right). (f) Transfer curves of planar and trench TFTs before annealing (left-hand panel) and after annealing at 270 °C (right-hand panel)[86]. (e)–(f), © 2021 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission, from Ref. [86]. (g) ITZO TFTs with different channel structures: device A contains an oxygen-uncompensated channel layer (UCL) and device B contains a bilayer channel, which is an oxygen-compensated channel layer (CCL) and an oxygen-uncompensated channel layer (UCL). (h) Output characteristics of device A and device B[87]. (g)–(h) , reprinted with permission from Ref. [87]. Copyright 2022, American Chemical Society.

Fig. 13.  (Color online) (a) Device structure of the bilayer ITO/ITZO TFT device. (b) Transfer characteristics of TFT devices with different ITO thicknesses. (c) Corresponding output characteristics of ITO/ITZO TFT devices[89]. (a)–(c), Reprinted from Ref. [89], Copyright (2016), with permission from Elsevier. (d) Contour of current density for off state. (e) Transfer characteristics of corrugated heterostructure ITZO (5.4 nm)/IGZO (20 nm) heterostructure, ITZO (10 nm)–IGZO (20 nm) heterostructure. (f) Electron concentration as a function of the gate voltage sweep (−15 to 15 V) in the indicated thick- (region #1) and thin-ITZO/IGZO heterointerface (region #2)[90]. (d)–(f) Ref. [90], John Wiley & Sons. [© 2018 Wiley-VCH GmbH].

Table 1.   Summary of active layer optimizations for ITZO TFTs.

Methods Material W/L (μm) T (°C) μ (cm2/(V·s)) SS (V/dec) VTH (V) Year Ref.
AC
film
preparation
Sputtering ITZO 150/25 350 37.2 0.93 N.A. 2013 [38]
Sputtering ITZO 500/50 350 36.9 0.30 3.8 2014 [39]
Sputtering ITZO 500/100 350 47.3 1.26 −0.6 2018 [40]
Sputtering ITZO 800/400 350 36.1 0.13 −0.03 2021 [41]
Sputtering ITZO 1000/200 300 30.8 1.00 0.4 2015 [42]
Sputtering ITZO 50/5 300 27.9 0.20 0.52 2017 [43]
Inkjet printing ITZO 1400/200 600 30.0 N.A. 2.0 2009 [44]
Solution ITZO 200/1000 600 4.36 0.53 2.1 2011 [45]
Solution ITZO 20/10 300 9.5 0.08 0.51 2019 [46]
ALD ITZO 40/20 350 27.8 0.28 −1.2 2019 [47]
ALD ITZO N.A. 400 22.0 0.15 0.8 2019 [48]
USPD ITZO 200/15 N.A. 43.84 0.09 0.5 2020 [49]
Doping Sputtering ITZO:Li 70/70 325 39.1 N.A. 0.4 2018 [50]
Sputtering ITZO:Li N.A. 325 39.4 N.A. 2.2 2019 [51]
Sputtering ITZO:Y 1000/100 500 0.20 0.07 3.7 2019 [52]
Sputtering ITZO:Pr 800/400 350 20.9 0.27 0.39 2022 [53]
Sputtering ITZO:N 1500/150 250 17.53 0.36 −8.2 2018 [55]
Post
treatment
Sputtering ITZO N.A. 400 39.6 0.25 −2.8 2014 [56]
Sputtering ITZO 300/300 300 27.4 0.23 −0.64 2018 [57]
Sputtering ITZO 1000/50 150 9.8 0.82 1.93 2020 [58]
Sputtering ITZO 1000/500 700 33.6 0.26 0.83 2020 [59]
Sputtering ITZO 800/600 400 53.2 0.18 −0.21 2021 [60]
Sputtering ITZO 60/50 300 83.2 0.15 0.14 2023 [61]
DownLoad: CSV

Table 2.   Summary of gate dielectric engineering for ITZO TFTs.

Methods Dielectric W/L (μm) T (°C) μ (cm2/(V·s)) SS (V/dec) VTH (V) Year Ref.
Sputtering HfO2 480/120 400 18.9 0.48 −4.64 2022 [64]
Sputtering Al2O3 50/50 350 17.1 0.15 N.A. 2013 [65]
Sputtering Al2O3 200/200 250 31.08 0.096 0.28 2016 [66]
Sputtering ZrO2 500/50 300 40.7 0.126 −0.05 2018 [68]
Solution process ZrO2 50/10 300 15.42 0.087 N.A. 2018 [69]
Solution process HZO 50/10 300 4.76 0.07 N.A. 2018 [70]
Sputtering ZrSiOx 40/20 350 28.6 0.15 −0.4 2019 [71]
Sputtering ZS8 40/20 N.A. 27.7 0.17 −1.1 2020 [72]
Sputtering C8-SAM/Al2O3 300/300 300 13.7 0.2 1.0 2022 [73]
DownLoad: CSV

Table 3.   Summary of backchannel interface optimization for ITZO TFTs.

Methods Dielectric Passivation W/L (μm) T (°C) μ (cm2/(V·s)) SS (V/dec) VTH (V) Year Ref.
Sputtering AlOx:Nd C18-SAM 300/300 300 22.9 0.077 −0.1 2018 [77]
Sputtering AlOx:Nd OTES SAMs 300/300 300 19.4 0.09 0.6 2020 [78]
Sputtering AlOx:Nd ODA SAMs 300/300 350 19.89 0.152 −0.6 2021 [79]
Solution process ZrO2 Y2O3 50/5 350 4.75 0.114 0.42 2016 [80]
Sputtering AlOx:Nd Sc2O3 300/300 300 16.4 0.09 1.0 2021 [81]
Sputtering SiO2 GaOx 60/30 400 58.3 0.087 −0.7 2022 [82]
Sputtering SiO2 N.A. 60/30 400 ~50 N.A. N.A. 2021 [83]
DownLoad: CSV
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    Received: 11 May 2023 Revised: 29 May 2023 Online: Accepted Manuscript: 16 August 2023Corrected proof: 18 August 2023Uncorrected proof: 21 August 2023Published: 10 September 2023

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      Feilian Chen, Meng Zhang, Yunhao Wan, Xindi Xu, Man Wong, Hoi-Sing Kwok. Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review[J]. Journal of Semiconductors, 2023, 44(9): 091602. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/44/9/091602 F L Chen, M Zhang, Y H Wan, X D Xu, M Wong, H S Kwok. Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review[J]. J. Semicond, 2023, 44(9): 091602. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/44/9/091602Export: BibTex EndNote
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      Feilian Chen, Meng Zhang, Yunhao Wan, Xindi Xu, Man Wong, Hoi-Sing Kwok. Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review[J]. Journal of Semiconductors, 2023, 44(9): 091602. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/44/9/091602

      F L Chen, M Zhang, Y H Wan, X D Xu, M Wong, H S Kwok. Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review[J]. J. Semicond, 2023, 44(9): 091602. doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/44/9/091602
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      Advances in mobility enhancement of ITZO thin-film transistors: a review

      doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/44/9/091602
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      • Feilian Chen:received his Bachelor's degree from Shenzhen University. He is currently a Master's student at Shenzhen University under the supervision of Prof. Meng Zhang. His research focuses on high-mobility metal-oxide thin-film transistors
      • Meng Zhang:received his Doctoral degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2016. He is currently an assistant professor with Shenzhen University. His research interests include thin-film transistors and their applications
      • Corresponding author: zhangmeng@connect.ust.hk, ecezhangmeng@gmail.com
      • Received Date: 2023-05-11
      • Revised Date: 2023-05-29
      • Available Online: 2023-08-16

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