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We fabricated nc-Si TFTs in order to investigate the effect of the active-layer thickness on the characteristic of the nc-Si TFT. Bottom gate nc-Si TFTs were fabricated at 350°C using ICP-CVD. The thicknesses of the nc-Si layer were remained to 700, 1200 and 1700 Å. As the active-layer thickness increases, the mobility and the on-current level were not altered. However, the off-current level increased considerably and on/off ratio decreased. It may be attributed to highly doped characteristic of thick nc-Si film. As the nc-Si film thicker, the conductivity increases considerably and the Fermi level approaches to the conduction band minimum, which indicates the increases of doping level. The oxygen concentration shows high level of unintentional doping. Also, columnar growth of nc-Si film makes that the crystallinity of top region is much higher than that of bottom region. So, the conductivity of thick nc-Si film becomes high compared to that of thin nc-Si film. The structure of the nc-Si TFT with thick nc-Si film can be similar to the serial connection of N+, N- and N+ resistance, so that it suffers difficulty to suppress the off current and to secure high on/off ratio. Therefore, the off current can be suppressed by thinning of the high conducting active nc-Si layer and nc-Si TFT with channel thickness of 700 Å shows good on/off characteristic. It is deduced that bottom gate nc-Si TFT is necessary to have intrinsic channel layer as well as thin channel layer to reduce the leakage current.
We have fabricated the new top gate depletion mode n-type alternating magnetic field enhanced rapid thermal annealing (AMFERTA) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin film transistors (TFTs), which show the excellent electrical characteristics and superior stability compared with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) TFTs and excimer laser crystallized (ELC) low temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFTs. The fabricated AMFERTA poly-Si TFTs were not degraded under hot-carrier stress, and highly biased vertical field stress. The considerably large threshold voltage shift (ΔVTH) and trap state density reducing were occurred when the gate bias and drain bias were both large enough. The dominant mechanism of instability in the fabricated depletion mode AMFERTA poly-Si TFTs may be due to carrier induced donor-like defects reduction within the channel layer, especially near the drain junction.
Silicon dioxide (SiO2) films were deposited on crystalline silicon substrate by inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD). In this paper, various process parameter-gas flow rate, ICP RF power, Process pressure were discussed for the investigation of refractive index. And some properties of the SiO2 film are investigated. Since there was no external substrate heating during the deposition, the SiO2 film showed poor electrical characteristics, such as shifted flat-band voltage and high effective charge density. We have proposed He plasma pre-treatment in order to reduce the interface fixed charge and some post-treatment. Our experimental results shows that He plasma pre-treatment supply thermal energy for decomposition of reactant gas and to remove effective charges. Hydrogen post-treatment also enhances electrical characteristics. We measured the effect of the plasma treatment using FT-IR spectrum and C-V characteristics.
Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) thin film transistors (TFTs) of which active layer thickness was 100nm were fabricated using inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD) at 150°C. The fabricated nc-Si TFT exhibits rather high field effect mobility exceeding 22cm2/Vs and excellent sub-threshold slope of 0.45V/dec. The nc-Si film deposited 150°C as an active layer of the TFT shows high crystallinity more than 70% and very thin incubation layer less than 20nm. ICP-CVD provides high density plasma with reduced ion bombardment during the deposition on nc-Si and He dilution can enhance the decomposition of SiH4 into Si, SiHX radicals and atomic H, so that high quality nc-Si film can be fabricated. The gate insulator SiO2 film deposited by ICP-CVD at 150°C shows good electrical characteristics such as flat band voltage of -1.8V and breakdown voltage of 6.2MV/cm.
We have fabricated a new magnetic field enhanced solid phase crystallization (FESPC) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) thin film transistors (TFTs), which shows the excellent electrical characteristics and superior stability compared with hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) TFTs. The mobility (μ) and threshold voltage (VTH) of p-type TFTs of which the channel width and length are 5 μm and 7 μm, respectively are 31.98 cm2/Vs and -6.14 V, at VDS=-0.1 V. In the FESPC TFTs, the characteristics caused by grain boundary are remarkable due to large number of grain boundaries in the channel compared with poly-Si TFTs. The VTH of the TFT which have 5 μm channel length is smaller than that of 18 μm channel length by 1.36 V, which is considerably large value. It is due to the large number of grain boundaries in the channel and the high lateral electric field. The grain boundary potential barrier height is decreased, when the large lateral electric field is applied (which is called DIGBL effect). As a result of increased mobility, the drain current is increased, and VTH can be decreased. The activation energy (Ea) is strongly depended on the drain bias and the number of grain boundaries. is decreased, caused by the large drain bias and/or smaller number of grain boundaries. This decreased Ea can be reduced VTH due to increased the drain current. VTH of p-type poly-Si TFT employing FESPC on the glass substrate is affected by channel length and VDS due to energy barrier lowering effect at the grain boundary by increased lateral electrical field.
The nc-Si films where the troublesome incubation layer was almost eliminated were deposited by inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD) under various dilution conditions. The nc-Si films were analyzed with cross-sectional high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) images. It was verified that the Si crystalline components formed and grew from the surface of buffer layer. The grain size of 20~50nm was measured. The absence of incubation layer in nc-Si film may be attributed mainly to ICP-CVD which generates remote plasma of high density, the role of hydrogen, and the dilution effect on the growth of crystalline. Our experimental results show that incubation-free nc-Si film deposited by ICP-CVD may be suitable for the active layer of bottom gate nc-Si TFTs as well as top gate nc-Si TFTs.
Nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si) films were deposited by inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD) at 150°C. ICP power was 400W. The process gas was SiH4 diluted with He as well as H2. The flow rate of He, H2 and He/H2 mixture was varied from 20sccm to 60sccm and that of SiH4 was 3sccm. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of the nc-Si films were measured. From the XRD results of nc-Si films deposited by ICP-CVD, the properties of Si film deposited under each condition were studied. As the dilution ratio increases and He/H2 mixture was used as a dilution gas, intensities of <111>and<220> peaks were increased and the incubation layer was thin. These results were explained in the point of role of H2 plasma and He plasma in the nc-Si deposition process. Our experimental results show that nc-Si film deposited by ICP-CVD may be suitable for an active layer of nc-Si TFTs.
The structure and crystal growth of the silicon thin film deposited by e-beam evaporator have been studied with use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The silicon thin film is deposited at room temperature for flexible display. It is found that the silicon film deposited by e-beam evaporator has polysilicon structure by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). SEM image also shows that grain size of the silicon film is about 50nm. X-ray diffraction of the silicon thin film represents that the orientation of the silicon film is (201). We have also investigated the structure and the crystal growth of the silicon film after the silicon film is irradiated by XeCl excimer laser with various energy densities. Transmission electron microscopy shows that the irradiated silicon thin film has low intra-grain defects and sharp grain boundary.
We have proposed nitrous oxide (N2O) plasma pre-treatment in order to reduce the oxide charge densities as well as to increase the breakdown field of silicon dioxide film for flexible display. Our experimental results show that the proposed treatment improved both the flat-band voltage from –3V to –1.8V and the breakdown voltage of gate oxide from 7MV/cm to 9.5MV/cm, respectively. The proposed treatment also improved poly-Si TFT characteristics such as low sub-threshold swing of 0.43V/dec.
An ultra-low temperature (< 200°C) polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) film is fabricated for the plastic substrate application using inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD) and excimer laser annealing. The precursor active layer is deposited using the SiH4/He mixture at 150°C (substrate). The deposited silicon film consists of crystalline component as well as hydrogenated amorphous component. The hydrogen content in the precursor layer is less than 5 at%. The grain size of the precursor active silicon film is about 200nm and it is increased up to 500nm after excimer laser irradiation.
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