GOALI: Tetrahedral Ferroelectrics
Ferroelectricity is the ability to reverse a spontaneous electrical polarization by the application of an external electric field. This property is crucial to many modern electronic and optical technologies, but there has been limited success directly integrating ferroelectric materials with electronics based on conventional semiconductors despite decades of efforts. Part of the challenge is that traditional ferroelectrics exhibit very different crystal structures, bonding, and defect densities from commercial semiconductors such as silicon. This project seeks to resolve this problem by introducing a new class of ferroelectric materials with a tetrahedral bonding structure common to commercial semiconductors. Introducing a new function to tetrahedral semiconductors will represent a step change in the capabilities of integrated electronic and optical devices. This project will discover and develop new tetrahedral ferroelectrics and result in a new mechanistic understanding of ferroelectricity. The project will emphasize workforce development, through the education of students and post-docs trained to accelerate materials discovery via modern approaches to integrated computation and experiment. Technological advances will be accelerated through close collaboration with a GOALI partner.