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Electrically Tunable Antiferroelectric to Paraelectric Switching in a Semiconductor.

Authors
  • Bai, Hui1, 2
  • Su, Xianli1
  • Zhang, Qingjie1
  • Uher, Ctirad3
  • Tang, Xinfeng1
  • Wu, Jinsong1, 2
  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China. , (China)
  • 2 Nanostructure Research Center, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China. , (China)
  • 3 Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, United States. , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nano Letters
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
May 13, 2022
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c00787
PMID: 35549361
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The monoclinic α-Cu2Se phase is the first multipolar antiferroelectric semiconductor identified recently by electron microscopy. As a semiconductor, although there are no delocalized electrons to form a static macroscopic polarization, a spontaneous and localized antiferroelectric polarization was found along multiple directions. In conventional ferroelectrics, the polarity can be switched by an applied electric field, and a ferroelectric to paraelectric transition can be modulated by temperature. Here, we show that a reversible and robust antiferroelectric to paraelectric switching in a Cu2Se semiconductor can be tuned electrically by low-voltage and high-frequency electric pulses, and the structural transformations are imaged directly by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The atomic mechanism of the transformation was assigned to an electrically triggered cation rearrangement with a low-energy barrier. Due to differences of the antiferroelectric and paraelectric phases regarding their electrical, mechanical, and optical properties, such an electrically tunable transformation has a great potential in various applications in microelectronics.

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