Indium Oxide Thin-Film Transistors Processed at Low Temperature via Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis
journal contributionposted on 14.01.2015, 00:00 by Hendrik Faber, Yen-Hung Lin, Stuart R. Thomas, Kui Zhao, Nikos Pliatsikas, Martyn A. McLachlan, Aram Amassian, Panos A. Patsalas, Thomas D. Anthopoulos
The use of ultrasonic spray pyrolysis is demonstrated for the growth of polycrystalline, highly uniform indium oxide films at temperatures in the range of 200–300 °C in air using an aqueous In(NO3)3 precursor solution. Electrical characterization of as-deposited films by field-effect measurements reveals a strong dependence of the electron mobility on deposition temperature. Transistors fabricated at ∼250 °C exhibit optimum performance with maximum electron mobility values in the range of 15–20 cm2 V –1 s–1 and current on/off ratio in excess of 106. Structural and compositional analysis of as-grown films by means of X-ray diffraction, diffuse scattering, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal that layers deposited at 250 °C are denser and contain a reduced amount of hydroxyl groups as compared to films grown at either lower or higher temperatures. Microstructural analysis of semiconducting films deposited at 250 °C by high resolution cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy reveals that as-grown layers are extremely thin (∼7 nm) and composed of laterally large (30–60 nm) highly crystalline In2O3 domains. These unique characteristics of the In2O3 films are believed to be responsible for the high electron mobilities obtained from transistors fabricated at 250 °C. Our work demonstrates the ability to grow high quality low-dimensional In2O3 films and devices via ultrasonic spray pyrolysis over large area substrates while at the same time it provides guidelines for further material and device improvements.