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Title: Nanoscale mechanical switching of ferroelectric polarization via flexoelectricity

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Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 106; Journal Issue: 2; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2016-12-29 08:48:05; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
American Institute of Physics
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Gu, Yijia, Hong, Zijian, Britson, Jason, and Chen, Long-Qing. Nanoscale mechanical switching of ferroelectric polarization via flexoelectricity. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4905837.
Gu, Yijia, Hong, Zijian, Britson, Jason, & Chen, Long-Qing. Nanoscale mechanical switching of ferroelectric polarization via flexoelectricity. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4905837.
Gu, Yijia, Hong, Zijian, Britson, Jason, and Chen, Long-Qing. 2015. "Nanoscale mechanical switching of ferroelectric polarization via flexoelectricity". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4905837.
title = {Nanoscale mechanical switching of ferroelectric polarization via flexoelectricity},
author = {Gu, Yijia and Hong, Zijian and Britson, Jason and Chen, Long-Qing},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1063/1.4905837},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 2,
volume = 106,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 1

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1063/1.4905837

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Cited by: 19works
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Web of Science

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  • Flexoelectric coefficient is a fourth-rank tensor arising from the coupling between strain gradient and electric polarization and thus exists in all crystals. It is generally ignored for macroscopic crystals due to its small magnitude. However, at the nanoscale, flexoelectric contributions may become significant and can potentially be utilized for device applications. Using the phase-field method, we study the mechanical switching of electric polarization in ferroelectric thin films by a strain gradient created via an atomic force microscope tip. Our simulation results show good agreement with existing experimental observations. We examine the competition between the piezoelectric and flexoelectric effects and providemore » an understanding of the role of flexoelectricity in the polarization switching. Also, by changing the pressure and film thickness, we reveal that the flexoelectric field at the film bottom can be used as a criterion to determine whether domain switching may happen under a mechanical force.« less
  • Ferroelectric polymers offer the promise of low-cost and flexible electronic products. They are attractive for information storage due to their spontaneous polarization which is usually switched by electric field. Here, we demonstrate that electrical signals can be readily written on ultra-thin ferroelectric polymer films by strain gradient-induced polarization switching (flexoelectric effect). A force with magnitude as small as 64nN is enough to induce highly localized (40 nm feature size) change in the polarization states. The methodology is capable of realizing nonvolatile memory devices with miniaturized cell size and storage density of tens to hundreds Gbit per square inch.
  • Oxygen vacancies, especially their distribution, are directly coupled to the electromagnetic properties of oxides and related emergent functionalities that have implications for device applications. Here using a homoepitaxial strontium titanate thin film, we demonstrate a controlled manipulation of the oxygen vacancy distribution using the mechanical force from a scanning probe microscope tip. By combining Kelvin probe force microscopy imaging and phase-field simulations, we show that oxygen vacancies can move under a stress-gradient-induced depolarisation field. When tailored, this nanoscale flexoelectric effect enables a controlled spatial modulation. In motion, the scanning probe tip thereby deterministically reconfigures the spatial distribution of vacancies. Finally,more » the ability to locally manipulate oxygen vacancies on-demand provides a tool for the exploration of mesoscale quantum phenomena and engineering multifunctional oxide devices.« less