We demonstrate the use of excimer laser annealing (ELA) as a low temperature annealing alternative to anneal amorphous InGaZnO (a-IGZO) thin-film transistors (TFTs) passivated by a solution-processed hybrid passivation layer. Usually, a-IGZO is annealed using thermal annealing at high temperatures of up to 400 °C. As an alternative to high temperature thermal annealing, two types of ELA, XeCl (308 nm) and KrF (248 nm) ELA, are introduced. Both ELA types enhanced the electrical characteristics of a-IGZO TFTs leading to a mobility improvement of ~13 cm2 V−1 s−1 and small threshold voltage which varied from ~0–3 V. Furthermore, two-dimensional heat simulation using COMSOL Multiphysics was used to identify possible degradation sites, analyse laser heat localization, and confirm that the substrate temperature is below 50 °C. The two-dimensional heat simulation showed that the substrate temperature remained at very low temperatures, less than 30 °C, during ELA. This implies that any flexible material can be used as the substrate. These results demonstrate the large potential of ELA as a low temperature annealing alternative for already-passivated a-IGZO TFTs.
- excimer laser annealing
- amorphous InGaZnO thin-film transistors
- hybrid passivation
- solution process