Doping concentration dependent piezoelectric behavior of Si:HfO2 thin-films
Piezoelectric thin films are of current interest in science and industry for highly integrated nano-electro-mechanical-systems and sensor devices. In this study, the dependence of the piezoelectric properties on the doping concentration in Si:HfO2 thin films and their crystallographic origin are investigated. The Si:HfO2 films with a thickness of 20 nm and various Si doping concentrations in the range of 2.7-5.6 cat.% were examined. The relationship between the piezoelectric displacement and remanent polarization is studied during wake-up from the antiferroelectric-like pristine state until the cycled ferroelectric state, which reveals an application-dependent optimal doping concentration. Furthermore, the piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties, as well as the relative permittivity, were measured over wake-up, thus giving a glimpse at the underlying mechanism of the transition from a pristine antiferroelectric-like behavior to a ferroelectric/piezoelectric one, revealing a pre-existing polar phase that is reorienting during wake-up. The studied samples show a strong displacement and polarization dependence on the doping concentration. Hence, the stoichiometry is an excellent parameter for the application-specific adjustment of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor compatible piezoelectric thin films.