Quantum tunnelling and charge accumulation in organic ferroelectric memory diodes

Matteo Ghittorelli, Thomas Lenz, Hamed Sharifi Dehsari, Dong Zhao, Kamal Asadi, Paul W.M. Blom, Zsolt M. Kovács-Vajna, Dago M. De Leeuw, Fabrizio Torricelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (SciVal)


Non-volatile memories - providing the information storage functionality - are crucial circuit components. Solution-processed organic ferroelectric memory diodes are the non-volatile memory candidate for flexible electronics, as witnessed by the industrial demonstration of a 1 kbit reconfigurable memory fabricated on a plastic foil. Further progress, however, is limited owing to the lack of understanding of the device physics, which is required for the technological implementation of high-density arrays. Here we show that ferroelectric diodes operate as vertical field-effect transistors at the pinch-off. The tunnelling injection and charge accumulation are the fundamental mechanisms governing the device operation. Surprisingly, thermionic emission can be disregarded and the on-state current is not space charge limited. The proposed model explains and unifies a wide range of experiments, provides important design rules for the implementation of organic ferroelectric memory diodes and predicts an ultimate theoretical array density of up to 10 12 bit cm 2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15741
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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