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Non-Ising and chiral ferroelectric domain walls revealed by nonlinear optical microscopy
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2017 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 8, 15768Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The properties of ferroelectric domain walls can significantly differ from those of their parent material. Elucidating their internal structure is essential for the design of advanced devices exploiting nanoscale ferroicity and such localized functional properties. Here, we probe the internal structure of 180° ferroelectric domain walls in lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films and lithium tantalate bulk crystals by means of second-harmonic generation microscopy. In both systems, we detect a pronounced second-harmonic signal at the walls. Local polarimetry analysis of this signal combined with numerical modelling reveals the existence of a planar polarization within the walls, with Néel and Bloch-like configurations in PZT and lithium tantalate, respectively. Moreover, we find domain wall chirality reversal at line defects crossing lithium tantalate crystals. Our results demonstrate a clear deviation from the ideal Ising configuration that is traditionally expected in uniaxial ferroelectrics, corroborating recent theoretical predictions of a more complex, often chiral structure.

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Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 8, 15768
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-209881DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15768ISI: 000402871000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85020415818OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-209881DiVA: diva2:1115136
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 622-2010-526 621-2011-4040
Note

QC 20170626

Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-07-03Bibliographically approved

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