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Ultra-Thin PZT Films for Low-Voltage Ferroelectric Non-Volatile Memories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

D.J. Wouters
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium,
G.J. Norga
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
H.E. Maes
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
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For the possible application of PZT thin films in ferroelectric non-volatile memories, the potential of low-voltage switching is a major requirement. By straightforward thickness scaling down to 75nm, operation voltage can be reduced to 1.5V without degradation of the hysteresis properties. However, interface effects increase the coercive field for thinner films, so that operation voltage does not scale linearly with thickness. In view of the large difference in coercive field between bulk and thin-films, on the other hand, material (and interface) optimization may constitute an interesting alternative route for further voltage scaling. By optimizing the composition and stoichiometry, less than 1.5V switching has indeed been obtained even for 150nm films. It is argued that an important material parameter affecting low-voltage switching behavior is the ferroelectric domain configuration and presence/absence of mobile domain walls in the PZT film.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1999

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