MSE PhD Student Featured in Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology

H. Alex Hsain, MSE PhD Student (2022)

A paper authored by a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering was featured in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. H. Alex Hsain (2022), is the first author of the journal’s featured article entitled “Many routes to ferroelectric HfO2: A review of current deposition methods.”

This paper was a collaboration that included the MSE research group led by Prof. Jacob Jones as well as the NaMLab in Germany led by Uwe Schroder.


Although 10 years have passed since the initial report of ferroelectricity in hafnia (HfO2), researchers are still intensely fascinated by this material system and the promise it holds for future applications. A wide variety of deposition methods have been deployed to create ferroelectric HfO2 thin films such as atomic layer deposition, chemical solution deposition, and physical vapor deposition methods such as sputtering and pulsed laser deposition. Process and design parameters such as deposition temperature, precursor choice, target source, vacuum level, reactive gases, substrate strain, and many others are often integral in stabilizing the polar orthorhombic phase and ferroelectricity. We examine processing parameters across four main different deposition methods and their effect on film microstructure, phase evolution, defect concentration, and resultant electrical properties. The goal of this review is to integrate the process knowledge collected over the past 10 years in the field of ferroelectric HfO2 into a single comprehensive guide for the design of future HfO2-based ferroelectric materials and devices.

Read the full paper on the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology