Control of inhomogeneity in materials in order to avoid unexpected effects to the system remains a challenge. In this study, we seek to engineer inhomogeneity in materials and anticipate new properties. Through precise control of composition at the atomic scale, an electrical polarization is induced in the composition-graded LaAlO3–SrTiO3 solid solution epitaxially deposited on NdGaO3 substrates. By tailoring the direction of compositional gradient, the relationship between structure and electrical polarization is simulated via phase-field modeling and revealed by a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy and scanning probe microscopy. The analysis of the results indicates that the induced polarization is due to the flexoelectric effect in the compositional gradient system. The results of this study provide a new pathway for obtaining a new material genome. Moreover, by a suitable design of the new genome, that is, by using different combinations of compositional gradient geometries, local conduction can be obtained and manipulated, providing a new approach to obtain the desired properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Modeling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics