Ferroelectric Tunnel Junctions (FTJs) for Memory Applications and Ultra-Low Power Neuromorphic Circuits

Published : 8 February 2020

The recent discovery of ferroelectricity in hafnium oxide (HfO2) thin films generates a strong interest to save information in a non volatile way for ultra-low power memories, via the application of an electric field to switch the material’s electrical polarization. More recently, preliminary results demonstrating HfO2-based ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) were reported with this CMOS-compatible and scalable material. Here the ferroelectric layer enables to modulate the tunneling current passing through the junction, depending on its polarization. This opens numerous perspectives to those new devices.

The objectives of the PhD work will be to fabricate, characterize and model ferroelectric tunnel junctions to better understand the physics of those devices, and then optimize their performance. The optimized devices will then be co-integrated in the form of arrays above complex CMOS circuits to serve as artificial synapses in an ultra low power neuromorphic processor. This work will be performed in collaboration with european partners in the framework of H2020 BeFerroSynaptic EU project.

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