We investigate the evolution behavior of defect structures and the subgap states in In-Ga-Zn oxide (IGZO) films with increasing postannealing temperature by means of extended x-ray absorption fine-structure (EXAFS) measurements, positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS), and cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy, aiming to understand the relationship between defect structures and subgap states. EXAFS measurements reveal the varied oxygen coordination numbers around cations during postannealing and confirm two types of point defects, namely, excess oxygen around Ga atoms and oxygen deficiency around In and/or Zn atoms. PALS suggests the existence of cation-vacancy (VM)-related clusters with neutral or negative charge in both amorphous and polycrystalline IGZO films. CL spectra show a main emission band at approximately 1.85 eV for IGZO films, and a distinct shoulder located at about 2.15 eV for IGZO films postannealed above 600 °C. These two emission bands are assigned to a recombination between the electrons in the conduction band and/or in the shallow donor levels near the conduction band and the acceptors trapped above the valence-band maximum. The shallow donors are attributed to the oxygen deficiency, and the acceptors are thought to possibly arise from the excess oxygen or the VM-related clusters. These results open up an alternative route for understanding the device instability of amorphous IGZO-based thin-film transistors, especially the presence of the neutral or negatively charged VM-related clusters in amorphous IGZO films.
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