Nanoscale Control of Phase Variants in Strain-Engineered BiFeO3

Rama K. Vasudevan, Yunya Liu, Jiangyu Li, Wen-I Liang, Amit Kumar, Stephen Jesse, Yi-Chun Chen, Ying-Hao Chu, Valanoor Nagarajan, Sergei V. Kalinin

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Development of magnetoelectric, electromechanical, and photovoltaic devices based on mixed-phase rhombohedral-tetragonal (R-T) BiFeO3 (BFO) systems is possible only if the control of the engineered R phase variants is realized. Accordingly, we explore the mechanism of a bias induced phase transformation in this system. Single point spectroscopy demonstrates that the T -> R transition is activated at lower voltages compared to T -> - T polarization switching. With phase field modeling, the transition is shown to be electrically driven. We further demonstrate that symmetry of formed R-phase rosettes can be broken by a proximal probe motion, allowing controlled creation of R variants with defined orientation. This approach opens a pathway to designing next-generation magnetoelectronic and data storage devices in the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3346-3354
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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