A method for fabricating amorphous silicon thin film transistors (TFTs) with a polycrystalline silicon surface channel region for enhanced forward current drive. The method is particularly adapted for producing top-gate silicon TFTs which have the advantages of both amorphous and polycrystalline silicon TFTs, but without problem of leakage current of polycrystalline silicon TFTs. This is accomplished by selectively crystallizing a selected region of the amorphous silicon, using a pulsed excimer laser, to create a thin polycrystalline silicon layer at the silicon/gate-insulator surface. The thus created polysilicon layer has an increased mobility compared to the amorphous silicon during forward device operation so that increased drive currents are achieved. In reverse operation the polysilicon layer is relatively thin compared to the amorphous silicon, so that the transistor exhibits the low leakage currents inherent to amorphous silicon. A device made by this method can be used, for example, as a pixel switch in an active-matrix liquid crystal display to improve display refresh rates.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.