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(Hf,Zr)O2-based ferroelectrics: from fundamentals to applications

HfO2/ZrO2-based ferroelectrics have been referred to as “the ferroelectrics of the future”, because they retain their polar nature down to a few nanometers and are fully compatible with modern CMOS technology. However, their full application potential and fundamental science behind the formation of ferroelectricity are still being discovered.


In the first years after the report of ferroelectricity in Si:HfO2 thin films, people with background in semiconductor industry immediately started investigating the potential of the materials for ferroelectric memories with both capacitor- and transistor-based concepts. As HfO2 and ZrO2 are already integrated as dielectrics in state-of-the-art devices, the idea of “simply making them ferroelectric” to establish a non-volatile memory device was highly attractive. A few years later, the potential for steep-slope transistors utilizing the negative-capacitance effect (NC-FETs) was recognized and formed today’s second major branch of application-driven research on the topic of fluorite-type ferroelectrics.

This very applied perspective, however, caused a much slower pace toward fundamental understanding of the formation of this ferroelectric behavior. Moreover, researchers with a strong background in ferroelectrics remained a bit skeptical at first as it was very surprising that such properties had been overlooked in such well-studied oxides. In recent years, the understanding solidified and the communities started interacting. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to be done, both theoretically and experimentally.

Meanwhile, applied research did not stop and further applications beyond the abovementioned memories and low-power logic devices have been suggested. Today, the range of applications is broad and includes neuromorphic computing, energy storage and energy harvesting, piezo- and pyroelectric devices in general, decoupling capacitors, microwave antennas, and phase shifters.

The aim of this symposium is to provide a platform:

  • for people working on these material to gain insights into applications up to industrial level
  • for applied and fundamental researchers to connect and exchange
  • that serves as a step stone for people who consider starting to get engaged in this exciting and quickly growing new field

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Novel growth and fabrication schemes
  • Fundamental insights from theory and experiments
  • Electric field cycling behavior: root causes and solutions
  • Negative-capacitance effect and NC-FETs
  • Emerging ferroelectric memories (capacitors-based FRAM, FE-FETs, FTJs and novel concepts)
  • Piezo- and pyroelectric properties and related applications
  • Neuromorphics and further applications
  • Application insights and viewpoints from industrial partners

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Symposium organizers
Min Hyuk PARKSchool of Materials Science and Engineering, Pusan National University

2, Busandaehak-ro 63beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, 46241, Republic of Korea
Sergey V. BARABASHIntermolecular Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

3011 North First St., San Jose, CA 95134, USA
Tony SCHENKMaterials Research and Technology Department, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

41 Rue du Brill, L-4422 Belvaux, Luxembourg