Materials and Nanoscience, Nebraska Center for (NCMN)


Date of this Version



Published by American Physical Society. Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 137201 (2007). Copyright © 2007 American Physical Society. Permission to use.


Based on first-principles calculations, we demonstrate the impact of the electric polarization on electron transport in ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs). Using a Pt/BaTiO3 /Pt FTJ as a model system, we show that the polarization of the BaTiO3 barrier leads to a substantial drop in the tunneling conductance due to changes in the electronic structure driven by ferroelectric displacements. We find a sizable change in the transmission probability across the Pt/BaTiO3 interface with polarization reversal, a signature of the electroresistance effect. These results reveal exciting prospects that FTJs offer as resistive switches in nanoscale electronic devices.