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Title: Intrinsic space charge layers and field enhancement in ferroelectric nanojunctions

The conducting characteristics of topological defects in the ferroelectric materials, such as charged domain walls in ferroelectric materials, engendered broad interest and extensive study on their scientific merit and the possibility of novel applications utilizing domain engineering. At the same time, the problem of electron transport in ferroelectrics themselves still remains full of unanswered questions, and becomes still more relevant over the impending revival of interest in ferroelectric semiconductors and new improper ferroelectric materials. We have employed self-consistent phase-field modeling to investigate the physical properties of a local metal-ferroelectric (Pb(Zr 0.2Ti 0.8)O3) junction in applied electric field. We revealed an up to 10-fold local field enhancement realized by large polarization gradient and over-polarization effects once the inherent non-linear dielectric properties of PZT are considered. The effect is independent of bias polarity and maintains its strength prior, during and after ferroelectric switching. The local field enhancement can be considered equivalent to increase of doping level, which will give rise to reduction of the switching bias and significantly smaller voltages to charge injection and electronic injection, electrochemical and photoelectrochemical processes.
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
  2. National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU), Kiev (Ukraine). Inst. of Physics (ISP)
  3. Pennsylvania State Univ., State College, PA (United States). Dept. of Material Sciences and Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-07ER46417; AC0500OR22725
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; Phase-field modeling; ferroelectric; nanojunction; electric fields; dielectric thin films; polarization
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1226773