Solar-Tectic LLC ("ST") announced that a paper reporting a breakthrough thin-film transistor (TFT) technology, that promises greatly to improve current processes used the industry, has been published in the peer reviewed journal Materials Letters. The title of the paper is: "High mobility crystalline silicon film growth below 600°C from an Au-Si eutectic melt for TFTs".
|(Image: Solar-Tectic LLC)|
The new technology could entirely replace low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) which is a process central to the manufacture of thin-film transistors (TFTs) used in AMOLED displays, LCD displays, and Micro LEDs. The non-laser technology can be applied to very large substrates for generation 10.5 displays or to Micro LEDs (only 50µm x 50µm).
The electron mobility reported in the ST paper is higher than those typically reported for both LTPS and IGZO, (indium gallium zinc oxide) which is another contender to replace LTPS. The new eutectic enhanced recrystallization process can take place at temperatures as low at 232°C, when using tin as the metal with silicon, or even lower, and is sharply different from MIC (metal induced crystallization) because there is no metal residue left in the silicon film and the insulator layer is crystalline which allows for heterogeneous nucleation of silicon. In the near future ST will make samples using its newly patented insulator layer made of highly oriented "textured" MgO crystals which should lead to even higher mobility. A modified LTPS – in which a-Si:H is laser annealed (ELA) on the crystalline MgO insulator to improve the mobility of the Si film -- will also soon be reported on.
MgO is also known to lower the leakage current to less than that of SiO2.
The ST technology reported was recently patented.
The high mobility films reported on in the paper are also a promising indicator of strong solar cell performance.
All told, ST display technologies promise to offer emissive, high luminance, and high efficiency devices.
The technology was invented by the late Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, renowned materials physicist, and recipient of the US National Medal of Technology, Ashok Chaudhari, CEO of Solar-Tectic LLC, and Dr. RD Vispute of Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc. (USA). Characterizations of the samples reported on in the paper were performed at Binghamton University (CASP).
ST is also planning to start a pilot line soon to deliver specific supply components to the industries mentioned.