Sensing single domains and individual defects in scaled ferroelectrics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultra-scaled ferroelectrics are desirable for high-density nonvolatile memories and neuromorphic computing; however, for advanced applications, single domain dynamics and defect behavior need to be understood at scaled geometries. Here, we demonstrate the integration of a ferroelectric gate stack on a heterostructure tunnel field-effect transistor (TFET) with subthermionic operation. On the basis of the ultrashort effective channel created by the band-to-band tunneling process, the localized potential variations induced by single domains and individual defects are sensed without physical gate-length scaling required for conventional transistors. We electrically measure abrupt threshold voltage shifts and quantify the appearance of new individual defects activated by the ferroelectric switching. Our results show that ferroelectric films can be integrated on heterostructure devices and indicate that the intrinsic electrostatic control within ferroelectric TFETs provides the opportunity for ultrasensitive scale-free detection of single domains and defects in ultra-scaled ferroelectrics. Our approach opens a previously unidentified path for investigating the ultimate scaling limits of ferroelectronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereade7098
Number of pages10
JournalScience Advances
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 3

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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