Interplay between hopping and band transport in high-mobility disordered semiconductors at large carrier concentrations: The case of the amorphous oxide InGaZnO

II Fishchuk and A Kadashchuk and A Bhoolokam and AD de Meux and G Pourtois and MM Gavrilyuk and A Kohler and H Bassler and P Heremans and J Genoe, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 93, 195204 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.195204

We suggest an analytic theory based on the effective medium approximation (EMA) which is able to describe charge-carrier transport in a disordered semiconductor with a significant degree of degeneration realized at high carrier concentrations, especially relevant in some thin-film transistors (TFTs), when the Fermi level is very close to the conduction-band edge. The EMA model is based on special averaging of the Fermi-Dirac carrier distributions using a suitably normalized cumulative density-of-state distribution that includes both delocalized states and the localized states. The principal advantage of the present model is its ability to describe universally effective drift and Hall mobility in heterogeneous materials as a function of disorder, temperature, and carrier concentration within the same theoretical formalism. It also bridges a gap between hopping and bandlike transport in an energetically heterogeneous system. The key assumption of the model is that the charge carriers move through delocalized states and that, in addition to the tail of the localized states, the disorder can give rise to spatial energy variation of the transport-band edge being described by a Gaussian distribution. It can explain a puzzling observation of activated and carrier-concentration-dependent Hall mobility in a disordered system featuring an ideal Hall effect. The present model has been successfully applied to describe experimental results on the charge transport measured in an amorphous oxide semiconductor, In-Ga-Zn-O (a-IGZO). In particular, the model reproduces well both the conventional Meyer-Neldel (MN) compensation behavior for the charge-carrier mobility and inverse-MN effect for the conductivity observed in the same a-IGZO TFT. The model was further supported by ab initio calculations revealing that the amorphization of IGZO gives rise to variation of the conduction-band edge rather than to the creation of localized states. The obtained changes agree with the one we used to describe the charge transport. We found that the band-edge variation dominates the charge transport in high-quality a-IGZO TFTs in the above-threshold voltage region, whereas the localized states need not to be invoked to account for the experimental results in this material.

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