Partial support by NSF-MRL and Delco Electronics


One of the primary purposes of this research was to develop techniques to improve the quality of vacuum evaporated amorphous silicon (a-Si), i.e. lower the density of localized states in the mobility gap. The electron beam evaporation of amorphouss silicon and hydrogenation by ion implanting has proved promising. This technique permits independent control of amorphous silicon disorder and the hydrogenation level, thereby separating the process of hydrogenation from that of film deposition. Electrical measurement of field effect conductance changes was used as a probing tool to monitor changes in the properties of a-Si before and after hydrogenation. Field effect data was transcribed by a computer program to determine the density of localized states. Amorphous silicon films were prepared by electron beam evaporation of a high purity silicon onto the surface of a thermally oxidized crystalline silicon substrate. The films were deposited at a fixed rate in a high vacuum. Immediately after deposition, some films were subjected to in situ thermal anneal and some films were not. A Comparison of the results of these two eases revealed the porous nature of evaporated a-Si. Hydrogen incorporation into a- Si films was performed by ion implantation followed by a low temperature thermal activation of the hydrogen. After hydrogenation, a field effect conductance change of four orders of magnitude was observed on the devices which were not in situ thermally annealed. A comparison before and after hydrogenation demonstrates that almost three orders of magnitude reduction (from about 1022 to about 1019/cm3-eV) in the density of localized states near the Fermi level (N F/T) was achieved. Varying the hydrogen implantation dosage between lxlO16 to 1.5xl017/cm2, with all other sample preparation procedures fixed, caused a decrease in NF/T from 8.6xl020 to ixl019/cm3-eV. The effect of in situ thermal annealing prior to hydrogen implantation was also investigated. By performing a 400°C anneal for four hours immediately following film deposition the film porosity was greatly reduced. The film was then implanted with hydrogen to a total dose of lxl017/cm2. A field effect Conductance change of six orders of magnitude was observed which yielded a N|F/T of 4xl017/cm3-eV, approaching that of glow discharge produced films. The second purpose of the research was to develop modeling techniques for the a-Si:H TFT. Despite rapid progress in the TFT performence, [performance] the theoretical basis to determine static- and dynamic-characteristics of TFTs has not yet been determined mainly because the influence of the localized states on TFT operation is very complicated. The theoretical expression of drain current as a function of gate bias and drain voltage was derived. To use the theoretical expressions, the localized state density distribution N(E) must be known, A derived yet practical formula for the N(E) did not exist. A common way is to use the experiment of field effect conductance change to determine the N(E), With the data theoretical expressions the localized state density N(E) could be calculated by using a numerical technique, but it is cumbersome and connot [cannot]be determined uniquely. As a design tool for devices and circuits, a simple theory which can express concisely the TFT characteristics is very important. In this report, several models for N(E) are listed:. Approximate analyses for characteristics pf a-Si:H TFT are derived. In two special cases, i.e. uniform localized state density distribution and exponential localized distribution, some useful approximate expressions was obtained. Compared with the experiment data, the uniform density distribution of localized state model is a good approximate expression for a large density discribution [distribution] of localized states near Fermi level. The exponential model is a good approximate expression for lower density distribution of localized states near Fermi level.

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