Multilayer Dielectrics and Semiconductor Channels for Thin Film Transistor Applications

  • Fwzah Alshammari

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Emerging transparent conducting and semiconducting oxide (TCO) and (TSO) materials have achieved success in display markets. Due to their excellent electrical performance, TSOs have been chosen to enhance the performance of traditional displays and to evaluate their application in future transparent and flexible displays. This dissertation is devoted to the study ZnO-based thin film transistors (TFTs) using multilayer dielectrics and channel layers. Using multilayers to engineer transistor parameters is a new approach. By changing the thickness, composition, and sequence of the layers, transistor performance can be optimized. In one example, Al2O3/Ta2O5 bilayer gate dielectrics, grown by atomic layer deposition at low temperature were developed. The approach combined high dielectric constant of Ta2O5 and the excellent interface quality of Al2O3/ZnO, resulting in enhanced device performance. Using zinc oxide (ZnO)/hafnium oxide (HfO2) multilayer stack as a TFT channel with tunable layer thicknesses resulted in significant improvement in TFT stability. Atomic layer deposited SnO2 was developed as a gate electrode to replace ITO in thin film transistors and circuits. The SnO2 films deposited at 200 °C show low electrical resistivity of ~3.1×10-3 Ohm-cm with the high transparency of ~93%. TFT fabricated with SnO2 gate show excellent transistor properties. Using results from the above experiments, we have developed a novel process in which thin film transistors (TFTs) are fabricated using one binary oxide for all transistor layers (gate, source/drain, semiconductor channel, and dielectric). In our new process, by simply changing the flow ratio of two chemical precursors, C8H24HfN4 and (C2H5)2Zn, in an ALD system, the electronic properties of the binary oxide HZO were controlled from conducting, to semiconducting, to insulating. A complete study of HZO thin films deposited by (ALD) was performed. The use of the multi-layer (HfO2/ZnO) channel layer plays a key role in improving the bias stability of the devices. The low processing temperature of all materials at 160 °C is an advantage for the fabrication of fully transparent and flexible devices. After precise device engineering, including growth temperature, gate dielectric, electrodes (S/D&G) and semiconductor thickness, TFT with excellent device performance are obtained.
Date of AwardNov 13 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorHusam Alshareef (Supervisor)


  • Thin Film Transistors
  • HZO
  • ZnO
  • Multilayer

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