Electroresistance in ferroelectric tunnel junctions is controlled by changes in the electrostatic potential profile across the junction upon polarization reversal of the ultrathin ferroelectric barrier layer. Here, hard X-ray photoemission spectroscopy is used to reconstruct the electric potential barrier profile in as-grown Cr/BaTiO3(001)/Pt(001) heterostructures. Transport properties of Cr/BaTiO3/Pt junctions with a sub-μm Cr top electrode are interpreted in terms of tunneling electroresistance with resistance changes of a factor of ∼30 upon polarization reversal. By fitting the I-V characteristics with the model employing an experimentally determined electric potential barrier we derive the step height changes at the BaTiO3/Pt (Cr/BaTiO3) interface +0.42(−0.03) eV following downward to upward polarization reversal.



A. Zenkevich et. al. "Electronic band alignment and electron transport in Cr/BaTiO3/Pt ferroelectric tunnel junctions", Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 062907 (2013);