Atomic mechanism of polarization-controlled surface reconstruction in ferroelectric thin films

Peng Gao*, Heng Jui Liu, Yen Lin Huang, Ying-hao Chu, Ryo Ishikawa, Bin Feng, Ying Jiang, Naoya Shibata, En Ge Wang, Yuichi Ikuhara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

At the ferroelectric surface, the broken translational symmetry induced bound charge should significantly alter the local atomic configurations. Experimentally revealing the atomic structure of ferroelectric surface, however, is very challenging due to the strong spatial variety between nano-sized domains, and strong interactions between the polarization and other structural parameters. Here, we study surface structures of Pb(Zr 0.2 Ti 0.8 )O 3 thin film by using the annular bright-field imaging. We find that six atomic layers with suppressed polarization and a charged 180° domain wall are at negatively poled surfaces, no reconstruction exists at positively poled surfaces, and seven atomic layers with suppressed polarization and a charged 90° domain wall exist at nominally neutral surfaces in ferroelastic domains. Our results provide critical insights into engineering ferroelectric thin films, fine grain ceramics and surface chemistry devices. The state-of-the-art methodology demonstrated here can greatly advance our understanding of surface science for oxides.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11318
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2016

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