Ir and its conductive oxide, IrO2, are candidates to replace Pt as the electrodes in ferroelectric capacitors (FECAPs) because of improved endurance (since e.g. Pt/PZT/Pt shows strong fatigue) and also because of the oxygen barrier properties of Ir/IrO2 stacks that enable the fabrication of stacked FECAPs on top of contact plugs. Two important issues related to these electrodes are the control of the ferroelectric layer orientation on top of these materials, as well as material stability (e.g. oxidation and possible growth of large IrO2 crystallites).
In this work, we show that IrO2 bottom electrodes affect the crystallization of sol-gel deposited Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT). While PZT films deposited on (111) Pt show a (111) preferential orientation, IrO2 electrodes nucleate strongly different oriented PZT. Controlling and changing the microstructure of the bottom electrode allows tuning of these PZT orientations and the resulting grain morphology, and, consequently, their FECAP polarization hysteresis properties.