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Wurtzite and fluorite ferroelectric materials for electronic memory

Abstract

Ferroelectric materials, the charge equivalent of magnets, have been the subject of continued research interest since their discovery more than 100 years ago. The spontaneous electric polarization in these crystals, which is non-volatile and programmable, is appealing for a range of information technologies. However, while magnets have found their way into various types of modern information technology hardware, applications of ferroelectric materials that use their ferroelectric properties are still limited. Recent advances in ferroelectric materials with wurtzite and fluorite structure have renewed enthusiasm and offered new opportunities for their deployment in commercial-scale devices in microelectronics hardware. This Review focuses on the most recent and emerging wurtzite-structured ferroelectric materials and emphasizes their applications in memory and storage-based microelectronic hardware. Relevant comparisons with existing fluorite-structured ferroelectric materials are made and a detailed outlook on ferroelectric materials and devices applications is provided.

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Fig. 1: Comparisons of current versus vertical memory integrated computer architectures.
Fig. 2: Comparison of access time versus integration density (in bits/mm2) for various volatile memory and NVM technologies.
Fig. 3: Models of prominent thin-film FE crystal structures.
Fig. 4: FE properties of Al1−xScxN formed via various growth methods.
Fig. 5: Material/FE properties of various known FE materials.
Fig. 6: Schematics representations of four prominent FE memory devices and corresponding current–voltage characteristics.

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Acknowledgements

D.J., R.H.O. and K.-H.K. acknowledge primary support for this work from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) TUFEN programme under agreement nos HR00112090046 and HR00112090047. R.H.O. and I.K. acknowledge the support of the Semiconductor Research Corporation. D.J. acknowledges support from an Intel Rising Star award. The authors acknowledge helpful comments from S. Chang at the Intel Corporation.

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Kim, KH., Karpov, I., Olsson, R.H. et al. Wurtzite and fluorite ferroelectric materials for electronic memory. Nat. Nanotechnol. 18, 422–441 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-023-01361-y

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