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We have achieved a drastic improvement of the performance as thin film transistor (TFT) for solution-processed IGZO thin film by controlling drying temperature of solvents containing the precursor solution. The IGZO-precursor solution was prepared by mixing of metal nitrates and two kinds of organic solvents, 2-methoxyethanol (2ME) and 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE). 2ME was used for dissolving metal nitrates. TFE was added as a solvent for reducing surface tension as small as possible, leading to improvement of the wettability of the precursor solution on the surface of the substrate. In order to discuss the relationship between morphology and drying process, the spin-coated IGZO-precursor films were dried at room temperature and 140 °C on a hotplate, respectively. Annealing of the both films was carried out at 300 °C in an electric oven for 60 min after each drying process. Drying at room temperature provides a discontinuous film, resulting in a large variation of the TFT performance. On the other hand, drying at 140 °C provides a continuous film, resulting in the higher TFT performance and a minor variation. The difference in surface morphologies would be derived from the evaporation rate of the organic solvents. The rapid evaporation at 140 °C brings about rapid pinning of the spin-coated precursor layer on the substrate. Preparation process via the drying at 140 °C gave ∼ 1 cm2 V-1 s-1 of the saturated mobility, quite small hysteresis, and 107∼ 108 of the on-off ratio.
We synthesized viscous precursors to indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) using three kinds of alcoholamines, ethanolamine (EA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA), by a simple process. The viscous precursors are obtained just by vigorous stirring of alcoholamine and urea in an aqueous solution containing the metal nitrates during heating at 150-160 °C. The precursor containing EA (EA-precursor) is a pale-orange suspension containing aggregates of the metal hydroxides and shows pseudoplastic flow. The precursors containing DEA (DEA-precursor) and TEA (TEA-precursor) are transparent pale-yellow and dark-orange sols, respectively. They give Newtonian flow in the lower shear rate and pseudoplastic flow in the higher shear rate. Higher concentration of metal salts leads to higher viscosity of the precursors. According to thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) for the EA- and DEA-precursors, evaporation of alcoholamine occurs at around each boiling point and subsequently formation of metal oxides occur at around 300 °C. In the case of the TEA-precursor, formation of metal oxides occurs before pyrolysis of TEA attributed to the higher boiling point of TEA. The thin IGZO film, which is prepared by spin-coating of the diluted DEA-precursor and subsequent sintering at 450 °C for 30 min, shows 0.02 cm2 ·V-1s-1 of the mobility and 10-5 of the on/off ratio. The highly viscous DEA-precursor containing high concentration of metal ions allows patterning in an area of 100 cm2 onto a surface of a silicon wafer with screen printing.
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