Super-elasticity of functional ferroelectric oxides offers promises for integrating ferroelectric films into flexible electronics. However, super-elastic deformation is a complex phenomenon related to possibly multiple concurrent mechanisms. Fundamentally understanding how multiple mechanisms contribute to the super-elasticity of ferroelectric oxides is crucial to realizing their potential flexible electronic applications. Here, we employ phase-field simulations to model the dynamics of ferroelectric domain patterns of freestanding BiFeO3 membranes to understand the origin of their super-elasticity under substantial bending deformation (5% strain). It is demonstrated that both a reversible Rhombohedral-Tetragonal (R-T) phase transition and a nearly reversible domain evolution of BiFeO3 membranes contribute to accommodating the large deformation and thus their super-elasticity. The dynamics of domain evolution also reveal the formation of an exotic ferroelectric vortex and polarization rotation before the phase transition. We constructed a diagram of phases and domain patterns as a function of the membrane thickness and bending angle, which allows one to readily predict the emergence of T phase and ferroelectric vortex in bent BFO membranes. These results not only provide fundamental understanding of mesoscale super-elastic mechanisms but also reveal exotic domain states of ferroelectric membranes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys