Solution-processable LaZrOx/SiO2 gate dielectric at low temperature of 180 °C for high-performance metal oxide field-effect transistors.ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Nov 12; 6(21):18693-703.AA
Although solution-processable high-k inorganic dielectrics have been implemented as a gate insulator for high-performance, low-cost transition metal oxide field-effect transistors (FETs), the high-temperature annealing (>300 °C) required to achieve acceptable insulating properties still limits the facile realization of flexible electronics. This study reports that the addition of a 2-dimetylamino-1-propanol (DMAPO) catalyst to a perhydropolysilazane (PHPS) solution enables a significant reduction of the curing temperature for the resulting SiO2 dielectrics to as low as 180 °C. The hydrolysis and condensation of the as-spun PHPS film under humidity conditions were enhanced greatly by the presence of DMAPO, even at extremely low curing temperatures, which allowed a smooth surface (roughness of 0.31 nm) and acceptable leakage characteristics (1.8 × 10(-6) A/cm(2) at an electric field of 1MV/cm) of the resulting SiO2 dielectric films. Although the resulting indium zinc oxide (IZO) FETs exhibited an apparent high mobility of 261.6 cm(2)/(V s), they suffered from a low on/off current (ION/OFF) ratio and large hysteresis due to the hygroscopic property of silazane-derived SiO2 film. The ION/OFF value and hysteresis instability of IZO FETs was improved by capping the high-k LaZrOx dielectric on a solution-processed SiO2 film via sol-gel processing at a low temperature of 180 °C while maintaining a high mobility of 24.8 cm(2)/(V s). This superior performance of the IZO FETs with a spin-coated LaZrOx/SiO2 bilayer gate insulator can be attributed to the efficient intercalation of the 5s orbital of In(3+) ion in the IZO channel, the good interface matching of IZO/LaZrOx and the carrier blocking ability of PHPS-derived SiO2 dielectric film. Therefore, the solution-processable LaZrOx/SiO2 stack can be a promising candidate as a gate dielectric for low-temperature, high-performance, and low-cost flexible metal oxide FETs.