Ferroelectric-gated Field-Effect Transistor (FeFET) was shown to be capable of storing binary information as early as in the 1960’s. Unfortunately, FeFET-based memory technology has not yet succeeded in commercialization despite intensive R&D efforts for decades and its numerous theoretical advantages compared to the dominating nonvolatile memory technology (flash memory), including programming speed, power consumption, and endurance. The key stumbling block for commercialization has been the lack of suitable ferroelectric materials that enable fabrication of FeFETs to fulfill the requirements for a viable memory technology, including memory retention, CMOS compatibility, and scalability.
The recent discovery of HfO2-based ferroelectric has changed the outlook of the FeFET-based memory technology, and it is now widely believed that it has re-emerged as the memory technology that will most likely take over the currently dominating flash memory. In this talk, I will introduce the principle of operation of the FeFET memory, its advantages compared to its competitors, the problems of the “pre-HfO2” ferroelectrics (such as PZT and SBT), the key to the formation of the HfO2-based ferroelectrics, the special attributes of ferroelectric HfO2 for the FeFET memory technology, and some related research contributions that our group has made.