GOALI: Tetrahedral Ferroelectrics

Project Personnel

Geoff Brennecka

Principal Investigator

Colorado School of Mines

Elizabeth Dickey

Carnegie Mellon University

Jon-Paul Maria

Pennsylvania State University


Prashun Gorai

Colorado School of Mines

David Martin

Funding Divisions

Division of Materials Research (DMR)

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.


Defect control strategies for Al1−xGdxN alloys
C. Lee, N. U. Din, K. Yazawa, W. Nemeth, R. W. Smaha, N. M. Haegel, and P. Gorai
Emerging materials and design principles for wurtzite-type ferroelectrics
C. Lee, N. U. Din, K. Yazawa, G. L. Brennecka, A. Zakutayev, and P. Gorai
Polarity effects on wake‐up behavior of Al0.94B0.06N ferroelectrics
K. Yazawa, D. Drury, J. Hayden, J. Maria, S. Trolier‐McKinstry, A. Zakutayev, and G. L. Brennecka
Anomalously abrupt switching of wurtzite-structured ferroelectrics: simultaneous non-linear nucleation and growth model
K. Yazawa, J. Hayden, J. Maria, W. Zhu, S. Trolier-McKinstry, A. Zakutayev, and G. L. Brennecka
Local chemical origin of ferroelectric behavior in wurtzite nitrides
K. Yazawa, J. S. Mangum, P. Gorai, G. L. Brennecka, and A. Zakutayev

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Research Highlights

Crystals and Clinker Teacher Workshop
Geoff Brennecka (Colorado School of Mines)
Design Principles for Wurtzite-type Ferroelectrics
Geoff Brennecka and Prashun Gorai (Colorado School of Mines)
Anomalously Abrupt Switching of Wurtzite-structured Ferroelectrics
Geoff Brennecka (Colorado School of Mines) Jon-Paul Maria (Penn State University)

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Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF)