Title: The effect of combined electrical and thermal cyclic loading on the mechanical behaviour of HfO2 nanofilm. A molecular dynamics study

Authors: Md Riaz Kayser; Sheikh Fahad Ferdous; Ashfaq Adnan

Addresses: University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019, USA ' Mechanical Engineering Technology Department, Indiana State University, IN 47809, USA ' University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019, USA

Abstract: We present an atomistic computational study of electric field and thermal effects on the mechanical behaviour of memristor material HfO2. Memristor materials are used for neuromorphic computation which promises to decrease energy consumption and improve the efficiency of important computational tasks, such as perception and decision making. In our study, first, the atomistic model of HfO2 is built on a monoclinic lattice structure. Then, tensile tests have been carried out to study its mechanical behaviour. Since the material has non-symmetric crystal structure, we observe varied tensile properties along the x, y and z directions. In addition, the effects of electrical field on mechanical behaviour are studied by varying the electrical field intensity from 0 to 0.3 v/Å gradually. For each case, atomistic snapshots are taken to identify the changes occur in the structure due to the electric field. A significant structural damage on the crystal structure of HfO2 is observed after applying 0.3 v/Å electric field, whereas the structural change is insignificant when the magnitude of the electric field is 0.2 v/Å or less. To understand more about the damage of this material, shear loads are applied in different directions and their responses are studied elaborately in this paper.

Keywords: memristor; hafnium dioxide; HfO2; molecular dynamics; electric field; mechanical properties; neuromorphic computation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2020.110411

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2020 Vol.9 No.3, pp.157 - 176

Received: 19 Oct 2019
Accepted: 08 Apr 2020

Published online: 19 Oct 2020 *

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