Injection and controlled motion of conducting domain walls in improper ferroelectric Cu-Cl boracite

      Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


      View graph of relations

      Ferroelectric domain walls constitute a completely new class of sheet-like functional material. Moreover, since domain walls are generally writable, erasable, and mobile, they could be useful in functionally agile devices: for example, creating and moving conducting walls could make or break electrical connections in new forms of reconfigurable nanocircuitry. However, significant challenges exist: site-specific injection and annihilation of planar walls, which show robust conductivity, has not been easy to achieve. Here, we report the observation, mechanical writing and controlled movement of charged conducting domain walls in the improper ferroelectric Cu3B7O13Cl. Walls are straight, tens of microns long, and exist as a consequence of elastic compatibility conditions between specific domain pairs. We show that site-specific injection of conducting walls of up to hundreds of microns in length can be achieved through locally applied point-stress and, once created, that they can be moved and repositioned using applied electric fields.


      • Mayncomms15105 (1) (1)

        Rights statement: © 2017 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit

        Final published version, 1 MB, PDF-document


      Original languageEnglish
      Article number15105
      Number of pages7
      JournalNature Communications
      Journal publication date16 May 2017
      StatePublished - 16 May 2017

      ID: 125246458