Beyond Substrates: Strain Engineering of Ferroelectric Membranes

David Pesquera*, Eric Parsonnet, Alexander Qualls, Ruijuan Xu, Andrew J. Gubser, Jieun Kim, Yizhe Jiang, Gabriel Velarde, Yen-Lin Huang, Harold Y. Hwang, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Lane W. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Strain engineering in perovskite oxides provides for dramatic control over material structure, phase, and properties, but is restricted by the discrete strain states produced by available high-quality substrates. Here, using the ferroelectric BaTiO3, production of precisely strain-engineered, substrate-released nanoscale membranes is demonstrated via an epitaxial lift-off process that allows the high crystalline quality of films grown on substrates to be replicated. In turn, fine structural tuning is achieved using interlayer stress in symmetric trilayer oxide-metal/ferroelectric/oxide-metal structures fabricated from the released membranes. In devices integrated on silicon, the interlayer stress provides deterministic control of ordering temperature (from 75 to 425 °C) and releasing the substrate clamping is shown to dramatically impact ferroelectric switching and domain dynamics (including reducing coercive fields to <10 kV cm−1 and improving switching times to <5 ns for a 20 µm diameter capacitor in a 100-nm-thick film). In devices integrated on flexible polymers, enhanced room-temperature dielectric permittivity with large mechanical tunability (a 90% change upon ±0.1% strain application) is demonstrated. This approach paves the way toward the fabrication of ultrafast CMOS-compatible ferroelectric memories and ultrasensitive flexible nanosensor devices, and it may also be leveraged for the stabilization of novel phases and functionalities not achievable via direct epitaxial growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2003780
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number43
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2020


  • complex oxides on silicon
  • epitaxial lift-off
  • ferroelectric domain switching
  • flexible devices
  • strain engineering


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