As an emerging nonvolatile memory technology, HfO2‐based ferroelectrics exhibit excellent compatibility with silicon CMOS process flows; however, the reliability of polarization switching in these materials remains a major challenge. During repeated field programming and erase of the polarization state of initially pristine HfO2‐based ferroelectric capacitors, the magnitude of the measured polarization increases, a phenomenon known as “wake‐up”. In this study, the authors attempt to understand what causes the wake‐up effect in Hf0.5Zr0.5O2(HZO) capacitors using nondestructive methods that probe statistically significant sample volumes. Synchrotron X‐ray diffraction reveals a concerted shift in HZO Bragg peak position as a function of polarization switching cycle number in films prepared under conditions such that they exhibit extremely large (≈3000%) wake‐up. In contrast, a control sample with insignificant wake‐up shows no such peak shift. Capacitance – voltage measurements show evolution in the capacitance loop with switching cycle number for the wake‐up sample and no change for the control sample. Piezoresponse force microscopy measurements are utilized to visualize the domain switching with wake‐up. The combination of these observations clearly demonstrates that wake‐up is caused by a field‐driven phase transformation of the tetragonal phase to the metastable ferroelectric orthorhombic phase during polarization switching of HZO capacitors.
Advances in creating polar structures in atomic‐layered hafnia‐zirconia (Hf
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- Advanced Engineering Materials
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
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- National Science Foundation
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