Constructing Polymorphic Nanodomains in BaTiO 3 Films via Epitaxial Symmetry Engineering

Wei Peng, Jacob A. Zorn, Junsik Mun, Muhammad Sheeraz, Chang Jae Roh, Jun Pan, Bo Wang, Kun Guo, Chang Won Ahn, Yaping Zhang, Kui Yao, Jong Seok Lee, Jin-Seok Chung, Tae Heon Kim, Long-Qing Chen, Miyoung Kim, Lingfei Wang, Tae Won Noh

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28 Scopus citations


Ferroelectric materials owning a polymorphic nanodomain structure usually exhibit colossal susceptibilities to external mechanical, electrical, and thermal stimuli, thus holding huge potential for relevant applications. Despite the success of traditional strategies by means of complex composition design, alternative simple methods such as strain engineering have been intensively sought to achieve a polymorphic nanodomain state in lead-free, simple-composition ferroelectric oxides in recent years. Here, a nanodomain configuration with morphed structural phases is realized in an epitaxial BaTiO3 film grown on a (111)-oriented SrTiO3 substrate. Using a combination of experimental and theoretical approaches, it is revealed that a threefold rotational symmetry element enforced by the epitaxial constraint along the [111] direction of BaTiO3 introduces considerable instability among intrinsic tetragonal, orthorhombic, and rhombohedral phases. Such phase degeneracy induces ultrafine ferroelectric nanodomains (1–10 nm) with low-angle domain walls, which exhibit significantly enhanced dielectric and piezoelectric responses compared to the (001)-oriented BaTiO3 film with uniaxial ferroelectricity. Therefore, the finding highlights the important role of epitaxial symmetry in domain engineering of oxide ferroelectrics and facilitates the development of dielectric capacitors and piezoelectric devices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1910569
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number16
StatePublished - Feb 24 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: J.A.Z. and J.M. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the Research Center Program of IBS (Institute for Basic Science) in Korea (IBS-R009-D1). STEM measurement was supported by the National Center for Inter-University Research Facilities (NCIRF) at Seoul National University in Korea. J.A.Z., B.W., and L.-Q.C. acknowledge the support by the Computational Materials Sciences Program funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, under Award Number DE-SC0020145 (J.A.Z. and L.-Q.C.) and by the US National Science Foundation under Award Number NSF-MRSEC DMR-1420620 (B.W.) and a fellowship from 3M Incorporated. Computations for this research were performed on the Pennsylvania State University’s Institute for CyberScience Advanced CyberInfrastructure, and the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) through NSF DMR170006. C.J.R. and J.S.L. acknowledge the support from Science Research Center and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2018R1A2B2005331). The authors from IMRE acknowledge the supports by National Research Foundation Competitive Research Programme of Singapore, NRF-CRP15-2015-04, (IMRE/16-9P1122). M.S., C.W.A., and T.H.K. acknowledge the support from the Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (Grant No. NRF-2019R1A6A1A11053838). The authors acknowledge invaluable suggestions and support from S. M. Yang, Z.-G. Ye, S. H. Chang, and J. H. Ko.


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