Electrically reversible cracks in an intermetallic film controlled by an electric field
Liu, Z.Q., J.H. Liu, M.D. Biegalski, J.-M. Hu, S.L. Shang, Y. Ji, J.M. Wang, S.L. Hsu, A.T. Wong, M.J. Cordill, B. Gludovatz, C. Marker, H. Yan, Z.X. Feng, L. You, M.W. Lin, T.Z. Ward, Z.K. Liu, C.B. Jiang, L.Q. Chen, R.O. Ritchie, H.M. Christen, Ramamoorthy Ramesh
Cracks in solid-state materials are typically irreversible. Here we report electrically reversible opening and closing of nanoscale cracks in an intermetallic thin film grown on a ferroelectric substrate driven by a small electric field ( 0.83 kV/cm). Accordingly, a nonvolatile colossal electroresistance on-off ratio of more than 108 is measured across the cracks in the intermetallic film at room temperature. Cracks are easily formed with low-frequency voltage cycling and remain stable when the device is operated at high frequency, which offers intriguing potential for next-generation high-frequency memory applications. Moreover, endurance testing demonstrates that the opening and closing of such cracks can reach over 107 cycles under 10-μs pulses, without catastrophic failure of the film. © 2017 The Author(s).
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