Research - IRG2

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Polarization-Enabled Electronic Phenomena

This IRG was evolved from the extremely successful SuperSeed Project "Polarization Coupled Memristive Behavior in Oxide Heterostructures" (Nov. 2014).
The IRG is aimed at exploring and exploiting FE polarization as a state variable that allows realization of polarization-controlled electronic, transport, and other functional properties of oxide, organic, and hybrid FE-based structures. This involves ferroelectrically induced resistive switching phenomena and the associated memristive behavior, FE modulation of electronic confinement at the hybrid FE/semiconductor and organic interfaces, as well as development of novel functional systems based on newly synthesized organic ferroelectrics where molecular interactions are responsible for macroscopic dipole ordering. These scientifically rich problems comprise the involvement of multiple degrees of freedom, the critical role of interfaces, and the interplay between physical and chemical properties at the nanoscale. They require comprehensive fundamental understanding and hold a lot of promise for technological innovations, including new paradigms for data storage and conceptually novel photovoltaic applications.

IRG 2 Research Areas:

Thrust 1: Polarization-controlled electronic transport

Thrust 1 is focused on the electrically controlled transport properties in tunneling systems where FE polarization drives giant resistive switching effects through the modulation of the tunneling barrier and induced metalinsulator transitions at the interface.


  • Switchable interface resistance
  • TER driven by interfacial phase transitions
  • Interface chemistry effect on TER
  • Voltage-free control of TER

Thrust 2: Polarization-enabled functional hybrid structures

Thrust 2 is centered on polarization-enabled electronic properties of hybrid FE interfaces where electronic confinement gives rise to novel phenomena, which are promising for unconventional electronic devices with new functionalities.


  • Polarization-mediated modulation of graphene electronic properties
  • Polarization-induced phase transitions in shape-memory alloys
  • Polarization-enhanced photovoltaic effects

Thrust 3: Polarization states in low-dimension molecular ferroelectrics

Thrust 3 is focused on polarization states in novel low-dimensional molecular ferroelectrics where macroscopic ordering is controlled at the molecular level providing new approaches towards polarization-functionalized heterostructures.


  • Charge transfer complexes
  • Planar proton-transfer systems
  • Molecular toggling systems

Recent IRG 2 Research Highlights:

» Graphene-Enhanced Ferroelectric Tunnel Junctions

IRG 2 Researchers

Alexei Gruverman
(coordinator) PFM, CAFM

Stephen Ducharme
Langmuir-Blodgett, dielectric testing

Axel Enders

Chang-Beom Eom

Xia Hong
Oxide sputtering, nanofab

Jinsong Huang
Hybrid structures

Alexander Sinitskii
Chem. synthesis, devices

Andrei Sokolov
Laser MBE

Evgeny Tsymbal
Theory spin transport and oxide FE

Xiao Cheng Zeng
Theory organic FE


















IRG 2 Highlights: