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Polycrystalline silicon

From Academic Kids

Polycrystalline silicon or polysilicon or poly-Si is a material consisting of multiple small silicon crystals, and has long been used as the conducting gate material in MOSFET and CMOS processing technologies. For these technologies it is deposited using LPCVD reactors at high temperatures and is usually heavily n or p-doped.

More recently, intrinsic and doped polysilicon is being used in large-area electronics as the active and/or doped layers in thin-film transistors. Although it can be deposited by low-pressure chemical-vapour deposition (LPCVD), plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD), or solid-phase crystallization (SPC) of amorphous silicon in certain processing regimes, these processes still require relatively high temperatures of at least 300°C. These temperatures make deposition of polysilicon possible for glass substrates, but not for plastic substrates. Instead, a relatively new technique called laser crystallization can be used to crystallize a precursor amorphous silicon (a-Si) material on a plastic substrate without melting or damaging the plastic. Short, high-intensity ultraviolet laser pulses are used to heat the deposited a-Si material to above the melting point of silicon, without melting the entire substrate. The molten silicon will then crystallize as it cools. By precisely controlling the temperature gradients, researchers have been able to grow very large grains, of up to hundreds of micrometers in size in the extreme case, although grain sizes of 10 nanometres to 1 micrometre are also common. In order to create devices on polysilicon over large-areas however, a crystal grain size smaller than the device feature size is needed for homogeneity of the devices.

The main advantage of polysilicon over a-Si is that the mobility can be orders of magnitude larger and the material also shows greater stability under electric field and light-induced stress. This allows more complex, high-speed circuity to be created on the glass substrate along with the a-Si devices, which are still needed for their low-leakage characteristics. When polysilicon and a-Si devices are used in the same process this is called hybrid processing. A complete polysilicon active layer process is also used in some cases where a small pixel size is required, such as in projection displays.

See also


External links:

FlexICs, a company which produces polysilicon on low-temperature, flexible substrates (http://www.flexics.com)zh:多晶硅

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