Is ferroelectric polarization spontaneous? The hidden effect of oxygen vacancies

Asaf Hershkovitz, Elangovan Hemaprabha, Doaa Khorshid, Liyang Ma, Shi Liu, Yachin Ivry

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

The abrupt transition from a disordered phase to collective ion behavior in ferroelectrics serves as a model system to study spontaneous symmetry breaking in nature. First-principle calculations combined with atomic-scale imaging demonstrate that oxygen vacancies that serve as pinning sites for the ferroic domain walls remain immobile above the Curie temperature in the seminal ferroelectric barium titanate. Thus, upon cooling, these oxygen vacancies dictate reproducible domain-wall patterning. Domain-scale imaging with variable-temperature piezoresponse force microscopy confirmed the polarization memory effect, questioning the spontaneity of the ferroelectric transition.
Original languageAmerican English
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

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