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Title: Symmetry breaking and electrical frustration during tip-induced polarization switching in the non-polar cut of lithium niobate single crystals

Polarization switching in ferroelectric materials is governed by a delicate interplay between bulk polarization dynamics and screening processes at surfaces and domain walls. Here we explore the mechanism of tip-induced polarization switching in the non-polar cuts of uniaxial ferroelectrics. In this case, in-plane component of polarization vector switches, allowing for detailed observations of resultant domain morphologies. We observe surprising variability of resultant domain morphologies stemming from fundamental instability of formed charged domain wall and associated electric frustration. In particular, we demonstrate that controlling vertical tip position allows the polarity of the switching to be controlled. This represents very unusual form of symmetry breaking where mechanical motion in vertical direction controls the lateral domain growth. The implication of these studies for ferroelectric devices and domain wall electronics are discussed.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [5] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Ural Federal Univ. (Russia)
  3. National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU), Kiev (Ukraine).
  4. Kiev University (Ukraine)
  5. Univ. of Aveiro (Portugal)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ferroelectric; domain structure; polarization switching; scanning probe microscopy; lithium niobate; symmetry breaking
OSTI Identifier: