Unconventional Ferroelectric Switching via Local Domain Wall Motion in Multiferroic ε-Fe2O3 Films

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Advanced Electronic Materials, articlenumber 1901134
Deterministic polarization reversal in ferroelectric and multiferroic films is critical for their exploitation in nanoelectronic devices. While ferroelectricity has been studied for nearly a century, major discrepancies in the reported values of coercive fields and saturation polarization persist in literature for many materials. This raises questions about the atomic-scale mechanisms behind polarization reversal. Unconventional ferroelectric switching in ε-Fe2O3 films, a material that combines ferrimagnetism and ferroelectricity at room temperature, is reported. High-resolution in situ scanning transmission electron microscopy experiments and first-principles calculations demonstrate that polarization reversal in ε-Fe2O3 occurs around pre-existing domain walls only, triggering local domain wall motion in moderate electric fields of 250–500 kV cm−1. Calculations indicate that the activation barrier for switching at domain walls is nearly a quarter of that corresponding to the most likely transition paths inside ε-Fe2O3 domains. Moreover, domain walls provide symmetry lowering of the polar structure near the domain boundary, which is shown to be necessary for ferroelectric switching in ε-Fe2O3. Local polarization reversal in ε-Fe2O3 limits the macroscopic ferroelectric response and offers important hints on how to tailor ferroelectric properties by domain structure design in other relevant ferroelectric materials.
| openaire: EC/H2020/819623/EU//FeMiT
ferroelectric switching, multiferroics, ε-Fe O
Other note
Guan, X, Yao, L, Rushchanskii, K Z, Inkinen, S, Yu, R, Ležaí, M, Sánchez, F, Gich, M & van Dijken, S 2020, ' Unconventional Ferroelectric Switching via Local Domain Wall Motion in Multiferroic ε-Fe 2 O 3 Films ', Advanced Electronic Materials, vol. 6, no. 4, 1901134 . https://doi.org/10.1002/aelm.201901134