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Engineering of Ferroelectric HfO2–ZrO2 Nanolaminates

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2017 by Stephen L. Weeks, Ashish Pal, Vijay K. Narasimhan, Karl A. Littau, Tony Chiang
In this work, the ferroelectric properties of nanolaminates made of HfO2 and ZrO2 were studied as a function of the deposition temperature and the individual HfO2/ZrO2 layer thickness before and after electrical field cycling. The ferroelectric response was found to depend on the structure of the nanolaminates before any postdeposition annealing treatment. After annealing with a TiN cap, an “antiferroelectric-like” response was obtained from nanolaminates deposited in an amorphous state at a lower temperature, whereas a ferroelectric response was obtained from nanolaminates deposited at a higher temperature, where crystallites were detected in thick films before annealing. As the individual layer thicknesses were decreased, an increased lattice distortion and a concurrent increase in remanent polarization were observed from the nanolaminates deposited at high temperatures. After field cycling, nanolaminates deposited at lower temperatures exhibited an antiferroelectric-like to ferroelectric transition, whereas those deposited at higher temperatures exhibited a larger remanent polarization. Finally, we demonstrate that by leveraging the proper choice of process conditions and layer thickness, remanent polarizations exceeding those of the HfZrO4 solid solution can be obtained.