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PGI Colloquium:

Prof. Dr. Nava Setter,
Ceramics Laboratory, École Politechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

PGI Lecture Hall, Building 04.8, 2nd Floor, Room 365

09 Jan 2015 11:00

Ferroelectric domain walls and ultra-fine domains (what are they good for and can they be tamed)

Ferroelectric materials are heavily used in electro-mechanics and electronics. Interfaces called domain-walls separate regions, domains, inside the ferroelectric, in which the spontaneous polarization is differently oriented. The thickness of domain walls is typically 1-5 nm. Recent improvements of electron microscopes and force microscopes allow the investigation of the internal structure and properties of individual domain walls; indeed, initial results, e.g. (1) revealed that domain wall properties can differ from those of the domains themselves, leading to new, potentially explpitable phenomena. This is attractive, particularly in light of the possibility to create, displace, annihilate and recreate domain walls by applied voltage.

We are studying how to control domain walls and ultra-fine domains and are exploring their properties. Among the obtained results are dense patterns of arrays of domains having <10nm width (2), controlled movements of domain walls (3), domain walls with quasi-2DG conductivity inside the insulating matrix (4.5), and their controlled density (6) and demonstrated reconfigurability (7). In addition, ferroelectric boundaries are evidenced in centro-symmetric, non-ferroelectric materials (8).

1. J. Seidel et al., Nat. Mater. 8, 229 (2009).
2. L. Feigl et al., Nat. Commun. 5, 4677 (2014).
3. L. McGilly et al., Nat. Nanotech. 10 (2015).
4. T. Sluka et al., Nat. Commun. 4, 2389 (2013).
5. I. Stolichnov et al. (submitted)
6. P. Bednyakov et al. (submitted).
7. A. Crassous et al. (submitted).
8. X.-K. Wei et al., Nat. Commun 5, 3031 (2014).


Stephan Menzel
Phone: +49 2461 61-6074