Journal of Materials Research

Crossbar operation of BiFeO3/Ce–CaMnO3 ferroelectric tunnel junctions: From materials to integration

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Ferroelectric Tunnel Junctions (FTJs) are a candidate for the hardware realization of synapses in artificial neural networks. The fabrication process for a 784 × 100 crossbar array of 500 nm large FTJs, exhibiting effective On/Off currents ratio in the range 50–100, is presented. First, the epitaxial 4 nm-BiFeO3/Ca0.96Ce0.04MnO3//YAlO3 is combined with Ni electrodes. The oxidation of Ni during the processing affects the polarity of the FTJ and the On/Off ratio, which becomes comparable to that of CMOS-compatible HfZrO4 junctions. The latter have a wider coercive field distribution: consequently, in test crossbar arrays, BiFeO3 exhibits a smaller cross-talk than HfZrO4. Furthermore, the relatively larger threshold for ferroelectric switching in BiFeO3 allows the use application of half-programming schemes for supervised and unsupervised learning. Second, the heterostructure is combined with W and Pt electrodes. The design is optimized for the controlled collapse chip connection to neuromorphic circuits. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]