Emergence of the Vortex State in Confined Ferroelectric Heterostructures

Shang Lin Hsu, Margaret R. McCarter, Cheng Dai, Zijian Hong, Long-qing Chen, Christopher T. Nelson, Lane W. Martin, Ramamoorthy Ramesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The manipulation of charge and lattice degrees of freedom in atomically precise, low-dimensional ferroelectric superlattices can lead to exotic polar structures, such as a vortex state. The role of interfaces in the evolution of the vortex state in these superlattices (and the associated electrostatic and elastic boundary conditions they produce) has remained unclear. Here, the toroidal state, arranged in arrays of alternating clockwise/counterclockwise polar vortices, in a confined SrTiO3/PbTiO3/SrTiO3 trilayer is investigated. By utilizing a combination of transmission electron microscopy, synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction, and phase-field modeling, the phase transition as a function of layer thickness (number of unit cells) demonstrates how the vortex state emerges from the ferroelectric state by varying the thickness of the confined PbTiO3 layer. Intriguingly, the vortex state arises at head-to-head domain boundaries in ferroelectric a1/a2 twin structures. In turn, by varying the total number of PbTiO3 layers (moving from trilayer to superlattices), it is possible to manipulate the long-range interactions among multiple confined PbTiO3 layers to stabilize the vortex state. This work provides a new understanding of how the different energies work together to produce this exciting new state of matter and can contribute to the design of novel states and potential memory applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1901014
JournalAdvanced Materials
Volume31
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

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Ferroelectric materials
Heterojunctions
Vortex flow
Superlattices
Synchrotrons
Electrostatics
Phase transitions
Boundary conditions
Transmission electron microscopy
Data storage equipment
X ray diffraction
strontium titanium oxide

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Hsu, S. L., McCarter, M. R., Dai, C., Hong, Z., Chen, L., Nelson, C. T., ... Ramesh, R. (2019). Emergence of the Vortex State in Confined Ferroelectric Heterostructures. Advanced Materials, 31(36), [1901014]. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201901014
Hsu, Shang Lin ; McCarter, Margaret R. ; Dai, Cheng ; Hong, Zijian ; Chen, Long-qing ; Nelson, Christopher T. ; Martin, Lane W. ; Ramesh, Ramamoorthy. / Emergence of the Vortex State in Confined Ferroelectric Heterostructures. In: Advanced Materials. 2019 ; Vol. 31, No. 36.
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Hsu, SL, McCarter, MR, Dai, C, Hong, Z, Chen, L, Nelson, CT, Martin, LW & Ramesh, R 2019, 'Emergence of the Vortex State in Confined Ferroelectric Heterostructures', Advanced Materials, vol. 31, no. 36, 1901014. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201901014

Emergence of the Vortex State in Confined Ferroelectric Heterostructures. / Hsu, Shang Lin; McCarter, Margaret R.; Dai, Cheng; Hong, Zijian; Chen, Long-qing; Nelson, Christopher T.; Martin, Lane W.; Ramesh, Ramamoorthy.

In: Advanced Materials, Vol. 31, No. 36, 1901014, 01.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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