Atomic-scale visualization of polarization pinning and relaxation at coherent BiFeO3/LaAlO3 interfaces

Rong Huang, Hang Chen Ding, Wen I. Liang, Yong Chao Gao, Xiao Dong Tang, Qing He, Chun Gang Duan*, Ziqiang Zhu, Junhao Chu, Craig A.J. Fisher, Tsukasa Hirayama, Yuichi Ikuhara, Ying-hao Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Complex oxide heterointerfaces, which play host to an incredible variety of interface physical phenomena, are of great current interest in introducing new functionalities to systems. Here, coherent super-tetragonal BiFeO 3/LaAlO3 and rhombohedral BiFeO3/LaAlO 3 heterointerfaces are investigated by using a combination of high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) imaging and annular bright-field (ABF) imaging in a spherical aberration (Cs) corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), and first-principles calculations. The complicated ferroelectric polarization pinning and relaxation that occurs at both interfaces is revealed with atomic resolution, with a dramatic change in structure of BiFeO3, from cubic to super-tetragonal-like. The results enable a detailed explanation to be given of how non-bulk phase structures are stabilized in thin films of this material. Changes in lattice strain and symmetry in BiFeO3 (BFO) crystals at coherent T-BFO/LaAlO3 (LAO) and rhombohedral-BFO/LAO interfaces are imaged with atomic resolution using annular bright-field scanning transmission electron microscopy and first-principles calculations. A common pinned BFO layer and polarization relaxation at the interfaces are identified, providing insight into the ferroelectric behavior of thin films and the complex oxide heterointerfaces between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-799
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2014


  • annular bright-field imaging
  • bismuth ferrite
  • heterointerfaces

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Atomic-scale visualization of polarization pinning and relaxation at coherent BiFeO<sub>3</sub>/LaAlO<sub>3</sub> interfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this