We have studied the origin of suppressed remanent polarization in 4-variant BiFeO3 by correlating microscopic observations of ferroelectric/ferroelastic domain structures and ferroelectric measurements of (001) epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films with 2- and 4-ferroelastic domain variants. Piezoelectric force microscopy revealed that domain wall pinning was the cause of the reduced polarization observed in 4-variant BiFeO3. Using repetitive switching, the unswitched domains were completely switched and the remanent polarization reached a value comparable to 2-variant BiFeO 3. These results demonstrate that control of ferroelastic domains in rhombohedral systems is necessary in order to obtain high performance and reliable ferroelectric and magnetoelectric devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)