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Title: Deterministic Arbitrary Switching of Polarization in a Ferroelectric Thin Film

Ferroelectrics have been used as memory storage devices, with an upper bound on the total possible memory levels generally dictated by the number of degenerate states allowed by the symmetry of the ferroelectric phase. Here, we introduce a new concept for storage wherein the polarization can be rotated arbitrarily, effectively decoupling it from the crystallographic symmetry of the ferroelectric phase on the mesoscale. By using a Bi5Ti3FeO15-CoFe2O4 film and via Band-Excitation Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, we show the ability to arbitrarily rotate polarization, create a spectrum of switched states, and suggest the reason for the polarization rotation is an abundance of sub-50nm nanodomains. Transmission electron microscopy-based strain mapping confirms significant local strain undulations imparted on the matrix by the CoFe2O4 inclusions, which causes significant local disorder. These experiments point to controlled tuning of polarization rotation in a standard ferroelectric, and hence the potential to greatly extend the attainable densities for ferroelectric memories.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [6]
  1. ORNL
  2. Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
  3. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  4. Tokyo Institute of Technology
  5. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
  6. University of New South Wales
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature Communications; Journal Volume: 5
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Ferroelectric; PFM; Polarization Rotation; Memory