Exotic domain states, like vortex, offer the promise of superior properties and the potential disclination strain is a key factor for their formation in ferroelectrics. Here we show that large scale arrays of four-state vortex domains can be obtained in rhombohedral BiFeO3 thin films grown on PrScO3 substrates by pulsed laser deposition. Cs-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that each vortex domain is comprised of four ferroelectric variants with two 180° domain walls and two 109° domain walls. Atomic mappings of the lattice distortions unit cell by unit cell reveal that the cores of the vortex might be charged. The strains are mainly concentrated on domain walls. The formation mechanism of such large scale vortex-like states was discussed.
Large scale arrays of four-state vortex domains in BiFeO3 thin film
W. Y. Wang, Y. L. Zhu, Y. L. Tang, Y. B. Xu, Y. Liu, S. Li, S. R. Zhang, Y. J. Wang, X. L. Ma; Large scale arrays of four-state vortex domains in BiFeO3 thin film. Appl. Phys. Lett. 14 November 2016; 109 (20): 202904. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4967878
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