skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on March 21, 2017

Title: Polar-graded multiferroic SrMnO3 thin films

Engineering defects and strains in oxides provides a promising route for the quest of thin film materials with coexisting ferroic orders, multiferroics, with efficient magnetoelectric coupling at room temperature. Precise control of the strain gradient would enable custom tailoring of the multiferroic properties but presently remains challenging. Here we explore the existence of a polar-graded state in epitaxially strained antiferromagnetic SrMnO3 thin films, whose polar nature was predicted theoretically and recently demonstrated experimentally. By means of aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy we map the polar rotation of the ferroelectric polarization with atomic resolution, both far from and near the domain walls, and find flexoelectricity resulting from vertical strain gradients. The origin of this particular strain state is a gradual distribution of oxygen vacancies across the film thickness, according to electron energy loss spectroscopy. Furthermore, we present a chemistry-mediated route to induce polar rotations in oxygen-deficient multiferroic films, resulting in flexoelectric polar rotations and with potentially enhanced piezoelectricity.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. de Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain)
  3. Univ. de Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain); Fundacion ARAID, Zaragoza (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nano Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1530-6984
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE aberration-corrected STEM; domain walls; ferroelectricity; flexoelectricity; multiferroics