Unraveling the origin of ferroelectric resistance switching through the interfacial engineering of layered ferroelectric-metal junctions

Fei Xue, Xin He, Yinchang Ma, Dongxing Zheng, Chenhui Zhang, Lain-Jong Li, Jr-Hau He, Bin Yu, Xixiang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Ferroelectric memristors have found extensive applications as a type of nonvolatile resistance switching memories in information storage, neuromorphic computing, and image recognition. Their resistance switching mechanisms are phenomenally postulated as the modulation of carrier transport by polarization control over Schottky barriers. However, for over a decade, obtaining direct, comprehensive experimental evidence has remained scarce. Here, we report an approach to experimentally demonstrate the origin of ferroelectric resistance switching using planar van der Waals ferroelectric α-In2Se3 memristors. Through rational interfacial engineering, their initial Schottky barrier heights and polarization screening charges at both terminals can be delicately manipulated. This enables us to find that ferroelectric resistance switching is determined by three independent variables: ferroelectric polarization, Schottky barrier variation, and initial barrier height, as opposed to the generally reported explanation. Inspired by these findings, we demonstrate volatile and nonvolatile ferroelectric memristors with large on/off ratios above 10$^{4}$. Our work can be extended to other planar long-channel and vertical ultrashort-channel ferroelectric memristors to reveal their ferroelectric resistance switching regimes and improve their performances.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-12-21
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): ORS-2018-CRG7-3717
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under award numbers: ORS-2019- CRG8- 4081 and ORS-2018-CRG7-3717, and by the City University of Hong Kong under award number: 9380107

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Unraveling the origin of ferroelectric resistance switching through the interfacial engineering of layered ferroelectric-metal junctions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this