We report on the thickness scaling behavior of ferroelectric Sc0.3Al0.7N (ScAlN) films grown on Mo substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. Switchable ferroelectricity is confirmed in ScAlN films with thicknesses ranging from 100 to 5 nm. An increase in coercive field and a significant diminution of remnant polarization are found when the ferroelectric layer is scaled down to below 20 nm. Notably, a switching voltage of 2–3.8 V and saturated remnant polarization of ∼23 μC/cm2 are measured in 5 nm thick ScAlN. X-ray diffractions and transmission electron microscopy studies indicate that the increase in coercive field and diminishment in switchable polarization can be closely linked to the surface oxidation and strain state in ultrathin ScAlN films. This work sheds light on the fundamental thickness scaling fingerprints of ScAlN thin films and represents an important step for next-generation compact and power-efficient devices and applications based on nitride ferroelectrics.
Thickness scaling down to 5 nm of ferroelectric ScAlN on CMOS compatible molybdenum grown by molecular beam epitaxy
Ding Wang, Ping Wang, Shubham Mondal, Mingtao Hu, Danhao Wang, Yuanpeng Wu, Tao Ma, Zetian Mi; Thickness scaling down to 5 nm of ferroelectric ScAlN on CMOS compatible molybdenum grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Appl. Phys. Lett. 30 January 2023; 122 (5): 052101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0136265
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