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Title: Thermal fluctuations of ferroelectric nanodomains in a ferroelectric-dielectric PbTiO 3 / SrTiO 3 superlattice

Ferroelectric-dielectric superlattices consisting of alternating layers of ferroelectric PbTiO 3 and dielectric SrTiO 3 exhibit a disordered striped nanodomain pattern, with characteristic length scales of 6 nm for the domain periodicity and 30 nm for the in-plane coherence of the domain pattern. Spatial disorder in the domain pattern gives rise to coherent hard x-ray scattering patterns exhibiting intensity speckles. We show here using variable-temperature Bragg-geometry x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy that x-ray scattering patterns from the disordered domains exhibit a continuous temporal decorrelation due to spontaneous domain fluctuations. The temporal decorrelation can be described using a compressed exponential function, consistent with what has been observed in other systems with arrested dynamics. The fluctuation speeds up at higher temperatures and the thermal activation energy estimated from the Arrhenius model is 0.35±0.21 eV. As a result, the magnitude of the energy barrier implies that the complicated energy landscape of the domain structures is induced by pinning mechanisms and domain patterns fluctuate via the generation and annihilation of topological defects similar to soft materials such as block copolymers.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  3. Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States)
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States); Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Anhui (China)
  5. Stony Brook Univ., Stony Brook, NY (United States); California State Univ. (CalState), San Bernardino, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; FG02-04ER46147; 1055413; FG02-10ER46147
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States); National Science Foundation (NSF); National
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE
OSTI Identifier:
1345615
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1345082; OSTI ID: 1423431