We investigated the effects of vacuum rapid thermal annealing (RTA) on the electrical characteristics of amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide (a-IGZO) thin films. The a-IGZO films deposited by radiofrequency sputtering were subjected to vacuum annealing under various temperature and pressure conditions with the RTA system. The carrier concentration was evaluated by Hall measurement; the electron concentration of the a-IGZO film increased and the resistivity decreased as the RTA temperature increased under vacuum conditions. In a-IGZO thin-film transistors (TFTs) with a bottom-gate top-contact structure, the threshold voltage decreased and the leakage current increased as the vacuum RTA temperature increased. As the annealing pressure decreased, the threshold voltage decreased, and the leakage current increased. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicated changes in the lattice oxygen and oxygen vacancies of the a-IGZO films after vacuum RTA. At higher annealing temperatures, the lattice oxygen decreased and oxygen vacancies increased, which suggests that oxygen was diffused out in a reduced pressure atmosphere. The formation of oxygen vacancies increased the electron concentration, which consequently increased the conductivity of the a-IGZO films and reduced the threshold voltage of the TFTs. The results showed that the oxygen vacancies and electron concentrations of the a-IGZO thin films changed with the vacuum RTA conditions and that high-temperature RTA treatment at low pressure converted the IGZO thin film to a conductor.
Lee, H. W., & Cho, W. J. (2018). Effects of vacuum rapid thermal annealing on the electrical characteristics of amorphous indium gallium zinc oxide thin films. AIP Advances, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5009895