3 years ago

Giant Hysteretic Single‐Molecule Electric Polarization Switching Above Room Temperature

Ryo Machida, Mohamedally Kurmoo, Chisato Kato, Sadafumi Nishihara, Rio Maruyama, Ryo Tsunashima, Xiao-Ming Ren, Katsuya Inoue


Continual progress has been achieved in information technology through unrelenting miniaturisation of the single memory bit in integrated ferromagnetic, ferroelectric, optical, and related circuits. However, as miniaturisation is approaching its theoretical limit, new memory materials are being sought as replacements. Here, we report a unique material exhibiting single‐molecule electric polarisation switching that can operate above room temperature. The phenomenon occurs in a Preyssler‐type polyoxometalate (POM) cluster we call a single‐molecule electret (SME), which exhibits all the characteristics of ferroelectricity but without long‐range dipole ordering. The SME affords bi‐stability due to the two potential positions of localisation of a terbium ion (Tb3+) trapped within the enclosed POM, which results in extremely slow relaxation of the polarization and electric hysteresis with high spontaneous polarisation and coercive electric fields. Our findings suggest that SMEs can potentially be applied to ultrahigh‐density memory and other molecular‐level electronic devices operating above room temperature.

Publisher URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.201806803

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201806803

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