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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Three-State Ferroelastic Switching and Large Electromechanical Responses in PbTiO3Thin Films

  • Author(s): Damodaran, AR
  • Pandya, S
  • Agar, JC
  • Cao, Y
  • Vasudevan, RK
  • Xu, R
  • Saremi, S
  • Li, Q
  • Kim, J
  • McCarter, MR
  • Dedon, LR
  • Angsten, T
  • Balke, N
  • Jesse, S
  • Asta, M
  • Kalinin, SV
  • Martin, LW
  • et al.

© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Leveraging competition between energetically degenerate states to achieve large field-driven responses is a hallmark of functional materials, but routes to such competition are limited. Here, a new route to such effects involving domain-structure competition is demonstrated, which arises from strain-induced spontaneous partitioning of PbTiO3thin films into nearly energetically degenerate, hierarchical domain architectures of coexisting c/a and a1/a2domain structures. Using band-excitation piezoresponse force microscopy, this study manipulates and acoustically detects a facile interconversion of different ferroelastic variants via a two-step, three-state ferroelastic switching process (out-of-plane polarized c+→ in-plane polarized a → out-of-plane polarized c−state), which is concomitant with large nonvolatile electromechanical strains (≈1.25%) and tunability of the local piezoresponse and elastic modulus (>23%). It is further demonstrated that deterministic, nonvolatile writing/erasure of large-area patterns of this electromechanical response is possible, thus showing a new pathway to improved function and properties.

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