The spontaneous polarization in ferroelectrics (FE) makes them particularly attractive for non-volatile memory and logic applications. Non-volatile FRAM memories using perovskite structure materials, such as Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) and Strontium Bismuth Tantalate (SBT) have been studied for many years. However, because of their scaling limit and incompatibility with CMOS beyond 130 nm node, floating gate Flash memory technology has been preferred for manufacturing. The recent discovery of ferroelectricity in doped HfO2 in 2011 has opened the door for new ferroelectric based devices compatible with CMOS technology, such as Ferroelectric Field Effect Transistor (FeFET) and Ferroelectric Tunnel Junctions (FTJ).
This work began with developing ferroelectric hysteresis characterization capabilities at RIT. Initially reactively sputtered aluminum doped HfO2 films were investigated. It was observed that the composition control using co-sputtering was not achievable within the existing capabilities. During the course of this study, collaboration was established with the NaMLab group in Germany to investigate Si doped HfO2 deposited by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). Metal Ferroelectric Metal (MFM) devices were fabricated using TiN as the top and bottom electrode with Si:HfO2 thickness ranging from 6.4 nm to 22.9 nm. The devices were electrically tested for P-E, C-V and I-V characteristics. Structural characterizations included TEM, EELS, XRR, XRD and XPS/Auger spectroscopy.
Higher remanant polarization (Pr) was observed for films of 9.3 nm and 13.1 nm thickness. Thicker film (22.9 nm) showed smaller Pr. Devices with 6.4 nm thick films exhibit tunneling behavior showing a memristor like I-V characteristics. The tunnel current and ferroelectricity showed decrease with cycling indicating a possible change in either the structure or the domain configurations. Theoretical simulations using the improved FE model were carried out to model the ferroelectric behavior of different stacks of films.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Ferroelectric devices--Materials; Nonvolatile random-access memory--Materials; Metal oxide semiconductors, Complementary--Design and construction
Microelectronic Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)
Florent, Karine, "Ferroelectric HfO2 for Emerging Ferroelectric Semiconductor Devices" (2015). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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