Interface control of bulk ferroelectric polarization.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1117990109
The control of material interfaces at the atomic level has led to novel interfacial properties and functionalities. In particular, the study of polar discontinuities at interfaces between complex oxides lies at the frontier of modern condensed matter research. Here we employ a combination of experimental measurements and theoretical calculations to demonstrate the control of a bulk property, namely ferroelectric polarization, of a heteroepitaxial bilayer by precise atomic-scale interface engineering. More specifically, the control is achieved by exploiting the interfacial valence mismatch to influence the electrostatic potential step across the interface, which manifests itself as the biased-voltage in ferroelectric hysteresis loops and determines the ferroelectric state. A broad study of diverse systems comprising different ferroelectrics and conducting perovskite underlayers extends the generality of this phenomenon.