To realize the advanced thin-film transistors (TFTs), high-carrier-mobility semiconductor films on insulator structures should be fabricated with low-temperature processing conditions (≤500 °C). To achieve this, we investigated the solid-phase crystallization of amorphous-GeSn films on insulating substrates under a wide range of Sn concentrations (0%-20%), film thicknesses (30-500 nm), and annealing temperatures (380-500 °C). Our results reveal that a Sn concentration close to the solid solubility of Sn in Ge (∼2%) is effective in increasing the grain-size of poly-GeSn. In addition, we discovered that the carrier mobility depends on the film thickness, where the mobilities are determined by the counterbalance between two different carrier scattering mechanisms. Here, vacancy-related defects dominate the carrier scattering near the insulating substrates (≤∼120 nm), and grain-size determined by bulk nucleation dominates the grain-boundary scattering of thick films (≥∼200 nm). Consequently, we obtained the maximum mobilities in samples with a Sn concentration of 2% and a film thickness of 200 nm. The effect of increasing the grain-size of poly-GeSn by lowering the annealing temperature was also clarified. By combining these results, a very high carrier mobility of 320 cm2/Vs was obtained at a low temperature of 380 °C. This mobility is about 2.5 times as high as previously reported data for Ge and GeSn films grown at low temperatures (≤500 °C). Our technique therefore opens up the possibility of high-speed TFTs for use in the next generation of electronics.
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