What is it about?

Structure control and fatigue relibility of metastable doped HfO2 ferroelectric thin films are critical issues for real applications. We show that the strain gradient in La:HfO2 thin films induces a rhombohedral distortion in the ferroelectric orthorhombic phase, making it more stable and resulting in a greatly enhanced fatigue resistance.

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Why is it important?

The significance of our work is as follows: (1) the flexoelectric effect, negligibly weak in bulk, is revealed for the first time to play a significant role in determining the structure and properties of doped HfO2 in the nanometer scale; (2) fatigue in HfO2-based ferroelectric thin films is identified as a transition from the metastable ferroelectric phase to the thermodynamically stable but non-polar monoclinic phase; and (3) flexoelectricity induces rhombohedral distortion, which further stabilizes the metastable orthorhombic ferroelectric phase, is proposed for the first time to greatly enhance the fatigue performance (essentially fatigue-free up to 10^9 switches).


This works shows a new way to stable the metastable ferroeletric phase in doped HfO2, improtant for non-volatile memory and other integrated ferroelectric applications.

Prof. Di Wu
Nanjing University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Flexoelectricity-stabilized ferroelectric phase with enhanced reliability in ultrathin La:HfO2 films, Applied Physics Reviews, September 2023, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0144958.
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