Using a thermodynamic model and taking into account polarization charge screening in the electrodes and the near-surface inhomogeneous polarization distribution, the group has modeled the tunneling conductance of FTJs and presented the data as a function of the applied mechanical stress (see figure).

The team's results show that the conductance of FTJs can be modulated not only via the polarization orientations, but also by the applied stress, giving rise to a GER-like effect, which can be defined as a GPR effect. Similar to reversing the polarization, reversing a modest applied stress may also change the height of the tunnel barrier enough to produce orders of magnitude change in the electro-resistance.

Indeed, the sensitivity of the GPR system to the applied mechanical stress shows that the GPR system may have sufficient strength to be potentially useful in applications of high-sensitivity electronic and mechanical sensors, memories or other nano-devices.

The researchers presented their work in Nanotechnology.