Dynamic Tilting of Ferroelectric Domain Walls Caused by Optically Induced Electronic Screening

Youngjun Ahn, Arnoud S. Everhardt, Hyeon Jun Lee, Joonkyu Park, Anastasios Pateras, Silvia Damerio, Tao Zhou, Anthony D. Dichiara, Haidan Wen, Beatriz Noheda, Paul G. Evans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Optical excitation perturbs the balance of phenomena selecting the tilt orientation of domain walls within ferroelectric thin films. The high carrier density induced in a low-strain BaTiO3 thin film by an above-band-gap ultrafast optical pulse changes the tilt angle that 90° a/c domain walls form with respect to the substrate-film interface. The dynamics of the changes are apparent in time-resolved synchrotron x-ray scattering studies of the domain diffuse scattering. Tilting occurs at 298 K, a temperature at which the a/b and a/c domain phases coexist but is absent at 343 K in the better ordered single-phase a/c regime. Phase coexistence at 298 K leads to increased domain-wall charge density, and thus a larger screening effect than in the single-phase regime. The screening mechanism points to new directions for the manipulation of nanoscale ferroelectricity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number097402
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27-Aug-2021

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