Ferroelectric polarization switching is one common example of a process that occurs via nucleation and growth, and understanding switching kinetics is crucial for applications such as ferroelectric memory. Here we describe and interpret anomalous switching dynamics in the wurtzite-structured nitride thin film ferroelectrics Al0.7Sc0.3N and Al0.94B0.06N using a general model that can be directly applied to other abrupt transitions that proceed via nucleation and growth. When substantial growth and impingement occur while nucleation rate is increasing, such as in these wurtzite-structured ferroelectrics under high electric fields, abrupt polarization reversal leads to very large Avrami coefficients (e.g., n = 11), inspiring an extension of the KAI (Kolmogorov-Avrami-Ishibashi) model. We apply this extended model to two related but distinct scenarios that crossover between (typical) behavior described by sequential nucleation and growth and a more abrupt transition arising from significant growth prior to peak nucleation rate. This work therefore provides a more complete description of general nucleation and growth kinetics applicable to any system while specifically addressing the anomalously abrupt polarization reversal behavior in new wurtzite-structured ferroelectrics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering