Professor Martin and Colleagues “Speed-up” Ferroelectric Switching

 In a recent report in the journal Nature Materials, a Berkeley MSE team including graduate student Ruijuan Xu, postdoctoral researcher Anoop Damodaran, and Professor Lane Martin, together with colleagues form the University of Pennsylvania, have reported on a new type of switching in ferroelectrics. The findings are particularly interesting for two reasons. First, by controlling the boundary conditions of the material, the team has demonstrated that switching can happen faster than conventionally observed. Second, the team has demonstrated that one can stop the switching process part way to the final state – thereby creating the potential for not just a “0” and “1” state (in, for instance, a memory or logic device) but something akin to a “1/2” state in-between. The findings have implications for a range of devices including next-generation logic and memory systems. Additional details can be found here:


Cover_Var1A The herringbone pattern of nanoscale domains is key to enabling faster
switching in ferroelectric materials.  For scale,each tiny domain is
only about 40 nanometers wide, or roughly 1/2500 the width of an average
human hair.  Each colored band is made up of many tiny domains.
(Image by Ruijuan Xu and Lane W. Martin, UC Berkeley)