Domain topology and domain switching kinetics in a hybrid improper ferroelectric

F. T. Huang, F. Xue, B. Gao, L. H. Wang, X. Luo, W. Cai, X. Z. Lu, J. M. Rondinelli, L. Q. Chen, S. W. Cheong

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Abstract

Charged polar interfaces such as charged ferroelectric walls or heterostructured interfaces of ZnO/(Zn,Mg)O and LaAlO3/SrTiO3, across which the normal component of electric polarization changes suddenly, can host large two-dimensional conduction. Charged ferroelectric walls, which are energetically unfavourable in general, were found to be mysteriously abundant in hybrid improper ferroelectric (Ca,Sr) 3 Ti2O7 crystals. From the exploration of antiphase boundaries in bilayer-perovskites, here we discover that each of four polarization-direction states is degenerate with two antiphase domains, and these eight structural variants form a Z4 × Z2 domain structure with Z 3 vortices and five distinct types of domain walls, whose topology is directly relevant to the presence of abundant charged walls. We also discover a zipper-like nature of antiphase boundaries, which are the reversible creation/annihilation centres of pairs of two types of ferroelectric walls (and also Z3-vortex pairs) in 90° and 180° polarization switching. Our results demonstrate the unexpectedly rich nature of hybrid improper ferroelectricity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11602
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Huang, F. T., Xue, F., Gao, B., Wang, L. H., Luo, X., Cai, W., Lu, X. Z., Rondinelli, J. M., Chen, L. Q., & Cheong, S. W. (2016). Domain topology and domain switching kinetics in a hybrid improper ferroelectric. Nature communications, 7, [11602]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11602