Interface-charge-coupled polarization response of Pt-BaTiO 3-ZnO-Pt heterojunctions: A physical model approach

Venkata M. Voora, T. Hofmann, M. Brandt, M. Lorenz, M. Grundmann, N. Ashkenov, M. Schubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Heterojunctions composed of wurtzite-structure (piezoelectric) ZnO and perovskite-structure (ferroelectric) BaTiO3 are very interesting because of the previously observed ionic lattice polarization coupling at their interfaces. We report electric Sawyer-Tower polarization hysteresis measurements and analysis of a ZnO-BaTiO3 heterostructure with Pt front and back contacts deposited by pulsed laser deposition onto a (001) silicon substrate. The ZnO layer is n-type (N c = 5.5 × 1016 cm -3), and the BaTiO3 (BTO) layer is highly resistive. We observe a strong asymmetric ferroelectric hysteresis, which we attribute to a rectifying depletion layer formation between the ZnO and BaTiO3 layers. The coupling between the wurtzite-structure and perovskite-structure interface polarization influences the depletion layer formation. We develop a physical model for the electric Sawyer-Tower measurements. Our model includes the effects of the depletion layer formation inside the ZnO layer, the interface charge coupling between the ZnO and BaTiO3 layers, and the field-dependent ferroelectric polarization inside the BTO. We obtain a very good agreement between our model-generated data and our experiment. We identify voltages in forward and reverse direction at which the depletion layer opens or closes. These voltages are asymmetric, and reveal the effect of the spontaneous piezoelectric (nonswitchable) interface charge of ZnO, which we determine from our analysis here as P sz = -4.1 μC/cm2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1034
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Ferroelectric
  • Heterojunctions
  • Semiconductors
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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