Using a combination of experimental and computational techniques, changes in the domain structures seen infreestanding single-crystal platelets of BaTiO3 have been described in terms of a second-order phase transition.The transition is driven by the change in the length-to-width ratio of the platelet sidewalls and results in a symmetrybreaking of a complex, quadrant domain pattern. The phenomenon can be described by a Landau formalism inwhich (1) the order parameter is not the polarization but rather is the degree to which the domain pattern becomesoff-centered, and (2) the shape anisotropy of the platelet substitutes for temperature in the conventional Landauexpansion as the controlling thermodynamic variable. Bistability, in terms of the direction in which the domainpattern moves off center, coupled with the spontaneous macroscopic polarization and toroidal moment that resultfrom this off-centering, prompt the possibility of a new form of memory storage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials