Voltage Programmable Pyroelectric Sensors with ZrO2-based Antiferroelectrics

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Patrick D. Lomenzo - , NaMLab - Nanoelectronic materials laboratory gGmbH (Author)
  • Songrui Li - , NaMLab - Nanoelectronic materials laboratory gGmbH (Author)
  • Bohan Xu - , NaMLab - Nanoelectronic materials laboratory gGmbH (Author)
  • Thomas Mikolajick - , Chair of Nanoelectronics, NaMLab - Nanoelectronic materials laboratory gGmbH (Author)
  • Uwe Schroeder - , NaMLab - Nanoelectronic materials laboratory gGmbH (Author)


The physics operating at the nanometer scale in antiferroelectric devices has provided a pathway for new voltage programmable, passively operated pyroelectric sensors. Zr1-xHfxO2 thin films of 8 and 6 nm thickness are incorporated into workfunction engineered capacitors to provide non-volatile switching of pyroelectric and non-pyroelectric states. The different operating principles of the voltage control of the pyroelectric response between ferroelectrics and the antiferroelectric pyroelectric switches are demonstrated. Simple ± 2.5 V voltage pulses can turn the pyroelectric effect on and off in the workfunction engineered ZrO2-based thin film antiferroelectric capacitors. Zero-field pyroelectric coefficients with magnitudes of up to 108 μC m-2 K-1 were measured in the pyroelectric on-state. Hf-doping lowered the endurance of the nonpolar off-state with switching cycles, where degradation was observed to begin at 104 – 106 cycles. The loss of the nonpolar state and the convergence of the on-state and off-state pyroelectric coefficients after 1010 cycles was attributable to an irreversible phase transition to the ferroelectric phase, in agreement with the ‘wake-up’ phenomenon widely observed in HfO2 and ZrO2-based films. Undoped ZrO2 exhibited the best cycling endurance with an off-state pyroelectric coefficient magnitude of 10.3 μC m-2 K-1 after 2*1010 cycles, demonstrating the potential for long lifetime pyroelectric devices. The robust demonstration of the operating principles and performance of these programmable antiferroelectric pyroelectric sensors establishes a new design framework for high speed and reconfigurable pyroelectric systems.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12050-12057
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE sensors journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024

External IDs

Mendeley b67e04c9-5d94-3095-89ba-aa8c3aae0f9e
ORCID /0000-0003-3814-0378/work/159172302



  • Antiferroelectrics, Phase Transitions, Pyroelectric Sensors, Reconfigurable Devices, ZrO<sub xmlns:ali="http://www.niso.org/schemas/ali/1.0/" xmlns:mml="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">2</sub>, Antiferroelectrics (AFEs), ZrO2, pyroelectric sensors, reconfigurable devices, phase transitions