Research ArticleMATERIALS SCIENCE

Nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory

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Science Advances  23 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700512
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700512

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Abstract

Ferroelectric domain walls are atomically sharp topological defects that separate regions of uniform polarization. The discovery of electrical conductivity in specific types of walls gave rise to “domain wall nanoelectronics,” a technology in which the wall (rather than the domain) stores information. This paradigm shift critically hinges on precise nanoengineering of reconfigurable domain walls. Using specially designed nanofabricated electrodes and scanning probe techniques, we demonstrate a prototype nonvolatile ferroelectric domain wall memory, scalable to below 100 nm, whose binary state is defined by the existence or absence of conductive walls. The device can be read out nondestructively at moderate voltages (<3 V), exhibits relatively high OFF-ON ratios (~103) with excellent endurance and retention characteristics, and has multilevel data storage capacity. Our work thus constitutes an important step toward integrated nanoscale ferroelectric domain wall memory devices.

Keywords
  • domain walls
  • ferroelectrics
  • memory

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