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Selective control of multiple ferroelectric switching pathways using a trailing flexoelectric field

Authors
Park, Sung MinWang, BoDas, SaikatChae, Seung ChulChung, Jin-SeokYoon, Jong-GulChen, Long-QingYang, Sang MoNoh, Tae Won
Issue Date
May-2018
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Citation
NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, v.13, no.5, pp.366 - 370
Journal Title
NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY
Volume
13
Number
5
Start Page
366
End Page
370
URI
https://scholarworks.sookmyung.ac.kr/handle/2020.sw.sookmyung/4527
DOI
10.1038/s41565-018-0083-5
ISSN
1748-3387
Abstract
Flexoelectricity is an electromechanical coupling between electrical polarization and a strain gradient(1) that enables mechanical manipulation of polarization without applying an electrical bias(2,3). Recently, flexoelectricity was directly demonstrated by mechanically switching the out-of-plane polarization of a uniaxial system with a scanning probe microscope tip(3,4). However, the successful application of flexoelectricity in low-symmetry multiaxial ferroelectrics and therefore active manipulation of multiple domains via flexoelectricity have not yet been achieved. Here, we demonstrate that the symmetry-breaking flexoelectricity offers a powerful route for the selective control of multiple domain switching pathways in multiaxial ferroelectric materials. Specifically, we use a trailing flexoelectric field that is created by the motion of a mechanically loaded scanning probe microscope tip. By controlling the SPM scan direction, we can deterministically select either stable 71 degrees ferroelastic switching or 180 degrees ferroelectric switching in a multiferroic magnetoelectric BiFeO3 thin film. Phase-field simulations reveal that the amplified in-plane trailing flexoelectric field is essential for this domain engineering. Moreover, we show that mechanically switched domains have a good retention property. This work opens a new avenue for the deterministic selection of nanoscale ferroelectric domains in low-symmetry materials for non-volatile magnetoelectric devices and multilevel data storage.
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