This work is a comprehensive study on the interpretation and modeling of electronic transport behavior and defect states in indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) TFTs. Key studies have focused on advancing the state of IGZO TFTs by addressing several challenges in device stability, scaling, and device modeling. These studies have provided new insight on the associated mechanisms and have resulted in the realization of scaled thin-film transistors that exhibit excellent electrical performance and stability. This work has demonstrated the ability to scale the conventional inverted staggered IGZO TFT down to one micron channel length, with excellent on-state and off-state performance where the VT ≈1 V, µeff =12 cm2/Vs, Ileak ≤ 10-12 A/µm and SS ≈ 160 mV/dec. The working source/drain electrodes are direct metal contact regions to the IGZO, which requires several microns of gate overlap to provide ohmic behavior with minimal series resistance and ensure tolerance to overlay error. New results utilizing ion implantation for self-aligned source/drain regions present a path towards submicron channel length. This strategy offers a reduction in channel length as well as parasitic capacitance, which translates to improvement in RC delay and associated voltage losses due to charge-sharing. The realization of self-aligned TFTs using boron ion implantation for selective activation was introduced in a first-time report of boron-doped IGZO. Cryogenic measurements made on long-channel devices has revealed temperature-dependent behavior that is not explained by existing TCAD models employed for defect states and carrier mobility. A completely new device model using Silvaco Atlas has been established which properly accounts for the role of donor-like oxygen vacancy defects, acceptor-like band-tail states, acceptor-like interface traps, and a temperature-dependent intrinsic channel mobility. The developed model demonstrates a remarkable match to transfer characteristics measured at T = 150 K to room temperature. A power-law fit for the µch = f(T) relationship, which resembles 〖μ ~ T〗^((+3)⁄2) behavior consistent with ionized defect scattering. The mobility model is expressly independent of carrier concentration, without dependence on the applied gate bias. The device model is consistent with a compact model developed for circuit simulation (SPICE) that has been recently refined to include on-state and off-state operation. While IGZO is the only AOS technology mature enough for commercialization, the effective electron channel mobility µeff ~ 10 cm2/Vs presents a performance limitation. Other candidate AOS materials which have higher reported channel mobility values have also been investigated; specifically, indium-tungsten-oxide (IWO) and indium-gallium-tin-oxide (ITGO). These investigations serve as preliminary studies; device characteristics support the claims of high channel mobility; however the influence of defect states clearly indicates the need for further process development. The advancements realized in IGZO TFTs in this work will serve as a foundation for these alternative AOS materials.
Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)
Department, Program, or Center
Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)
Karl D. Hirschman
Bruce W. Smith
Kabir, Muhammad Salahuddin, "Interpretation and Physical Modeling of Electronic Transport and Defect States in IGZO Thin-Film Transistors" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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