Effect of residual impurities on polarization switching kinetics in atomic-layer-deposited ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin films

Dong Hyun Lee, Geun Taek Yu, Ju Yong Park, Se Hyun Kim, Kun Yang, Geun Hyeong Park, Jin Ju Ryu, Je In Lee, Gun Hwan Kim, Min Hyuk Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ferroelectricity in fluorite-structured ferroelectrics such as HfO2 and ZrO2 has attracted increasing interest in both academia and industry. Although the polarization switching kinetics is one of the research topics which critically requires further study for the novel ferroelectric material, various factors affecting the polarization switching kinetics have not been rarely examined to date. Especially in atomic-layer-deposited films, the defects including residual impurities are expected to strongly influence the polarization switching kinetics. In this study, therefore, the effect of deposition temperature (Tdep) and impurity concentration on the physical/electrical properties and polarization switching kinetics of atomic-layer-deposited Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin films is reported based on physical/chemical/electrical analyses. With decreasing Tdep, the concentration of residual impurities, including carbon increased, resulting in decreased grain size. The increased defect concentration decreased the median switching time and increased the deviation of the switching time distribution. This can be attributed to the lowered energy barrier for the nucleation of oppositely polarized domains and increased spatial inhomogeneities, respectively. This result suggests that Tdep is a key process parameter for optimizing the polarization reversal behavior of fluorite-structured ferroelectrics as it has a considerable influence on the ferroelectric properties and polarization switching kinetics, which are strongly correlated to the defect concentrations and microstructure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117405
JournalActa Materialia
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (Grant Nos: 2020R1C1C1008193 , 2020M3F3A2A01081593 , 2021R1C1C1012310 ). This work was partly supported by a Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology grant (Grant No. SS2121–10; Development of smart chemical materials for IoT devices).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Acta Materialia Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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