Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Penn State

Photo of Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Integrating Ferroelectrics with Semiconductors

Ferroelectric materials are potentially interesting for integration with semiconductors to provide local, low-power nonvolatile memory. Conventionally, this has been done with perovskite-based materials such as PbZr1-xTixO3; these materials have very useful properties, but the combination of high processing temperatures, and poor property scaling to layer thicknesses <50 nm has limited their utility. In the last decade, however, new families of ferroelectrics based on Hf1-xZrxO2, Al1-xBxN, Al1-xScxN, and Zn1-xMgxO have been demonstrated that can be deposited at temperatures below 300°C, with large switchable polarizations (10 - 150 µC/cm2). For some of these, scaling to 2nm in thickness has been demonstrated. This presentation will discuss some of the new materials, highlighting potential applications, as well as key needs in terms of improving control of defect chemistry near interfaces. Finally, a short review will be given of the need to continue scaling some of the necessary passive components required.


Susan Trolier-McKinstry is an Evan Pugh University Professor and Steward S. Flaschen Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering. Her main research interests include thin films for dielectric and piezoelectric applications. She directs both the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics and the Center for Three-Dimensional Ferroelectric Microelectronics. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, IEEE, and the Materials Research Society, and an academician of the World Academy of Ceramics. She currently serves as an associate editor for Applied Physics Letters. She was 2017 President of the Materials Research Society; previously she served as president of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, as well as Keramos. Twenty-one people that she has advised/co-advised have gone on to take faculty positions around the world.