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Ferroelectricity in undoped hafnium oxide

: Polakowski, P.; Müller, J.


Applied Physics Letters 106 (2015), Nr.23, Art. 232905
ISSN: 0003-6951 (Print)
ISSN: 1077-3118
ISSN: 1931-9401 (online)
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

We report the observation of ferroelectric characteristics in undoped hafnium oxide thin films in a thickness range of 4–20 nm. The undoped films were fabricated using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and embedded into titanium nitride based metal-insulator-metal (MIM) capacitors for electrical evaluation. Structural as well as electrical evidence for the appearance of a ferroelectric phase in pure hafnium oxide was collected with respect to film thickness and thermal budget applied during titanium nitride electrode formation. Using grazing incidence X-Ray diffraction (GIXRD) analysis, we observed an enhanced suppression of the monoclinic phase fraction in favor of an orthorhombic, potentially, ferroelectric phase with decreasing thickness/grain size and for a titanium nitride electrode formation below crystallization temperature. The electrical presence of ferroelectricity was confirmed using polarization measurements. A remanent polarization Pr of up to 10 μC cm−2 as well as a read/write endurance of 1.6 × 105 cycles was measured for the pure oxide. The experimental results reported here strongly support the intrinsic nature of the ferroelectric phase in hafnium oxide and expand its applicability beyond the doped systems.