Non-volatile optical switch of resistance in photoferroelectric tunnel junctions

Xiao Long, Huan Tan, Florencio Sánchez, Ignasi Fina, Josep Fontcuberta

Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 382 (2021);      DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-20660-9

In the quest for energy efficient and fast memory elements, optically controlled ferroelectric memories are promising candidates. Here, we show that, by taking advantage of the imprint electric field existing in the nanometric BaTiO3 films and their photovoltaic response at visible light, the polarization of suitably written domains can be reversed under illumination. We exploit this effect to trigger and measure the associate change of resistance in tunnel devices. We show that engineering the device structure by inserting an auxiliary dielectric layer, the electroresistance increases by a factor near 2 × 103%, and a robust electric and optic cycling of the device can be obtained mimicking the operation of a memory device under dual control of light and electric fields.