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Title: Microwave a.c. conductivity of domain walls in ferroelectric thin films

Ferroelectric domain walls are of great interest as elementary building blocks for future electronic devices due to their intrinsic few-nanometre width, multifunctional properties and field-controlled topology. To realize the electronic functions, domain walls are required to be electrically conducting and addressable non-destructively. However, these properties have been elusive because conducting walls have to be electrically charged, which makes them unstable and uncommon in ferroelectric materials. Here we reveal that spontaneous and recorded domain walls in thin films of lead zirconate and bismuth ferrite exhibit large conductance at microwave frequencies despite being insulating at d.c. We explain this effect by morphological roughening of the walls and local charges induced by disorder with the overall charge neutrality. a.c. conduction is immune to large contact resistance enabling completely non-destructive walls read-out. Finally, this demonstrates a technological potential for harnessing a.c. conduction for oxide electronics and other materials with poor d.c. conduction, particularly at the nanoscale.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
  2. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Lab. for Low-Dimensional Quantum Physics. Dept. of Physics. Collaborative Innovation Center for Quantum Matter; RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), Wako (Japan)
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. Dept. of Physics
  4. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. Dept. of Physics; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Science Division
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012375; 2015CB921700; 11274194; AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 2016; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Basic Research Program of China; National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)
Contributing Orgs:
RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS), Wako (Japan); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; physical sciences; applied physics; nanotechnology; condensed matter
OSTI Identifier:
1337814
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1414757