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Improved Ferroelectric Switching Endurance of La-Doped Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 Thin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-28, 00:00 authored by Anna G. Chernikova, Maxim G. Kozodaev, Dmitry V. Negrov, Evgeny V. Korostylev, Min Hyuk Park, Uwe Schroeder, Cheol Seong Hwang, Andrey M. Markeev
Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin films are one of the most appealing HfO2-based ferroelectric thin films, which have been researched extensively for their applications in ferroelectric memory devices. In this work, a 1 mol % La-doped Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin film was grown by plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition and annealed at temperatures of 450 and 500 °C to crystallize the film into the desired orthorhombic phase. Despite the use of a lower temperature than that used in previous reports, the film showed highly promising ferroelectric propertiesa remnant polarization of ∼30 μC/cm2 and switching cycle endurance up to 4 × 1010. The performance was much better than that of undoped Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin films, demonstrating the positive influence of La doping. Such improvements were mainly attributed to the decreased coercive field (by ∼30% compared to the undoped film), which allowed for the use of a lower applied field to drive the cycling tests while maintaining a high polarization value. La doping also decreased the leakage current by ∼3 orders of magnitude compared to the undoped film, which also contributed to the strongly improved endurance. Nonetheless, the La-doped film required a larger number of wake-up cycles (∼106 cycles) to reach a saturated remnant polarization value. This behavior might be explained by the increased generation of oxygen vacancies and slower migration of these vacancies from the interface to the bulk region. However, the maximum number of wake-up cycles was less than 0.01% of the total possible cycles, and therefore, initializing the film to the maximum performance state would not be a serious burden.