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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electric field control of chirality.

  • Author(s): Behera, Piush;
  • May, Molly A;
  • Gómez-Ortiz, Fernando;
  • Susarla, Sandhya;
  • Das, Sujit;
  • Nelson, Christopher T;
  • Caretta, Lucas;
  • Hsu, Shang-Lin;
  • McCarter, Margaret R;
  • Savitzky, Benjamin H;
  • Barnard, Edward S;
  • Raja, Archana;
  • Hong, Zijian;
  • García-Fernandez, Pablo;
  • Lovesey, Stephen W;
  • van der Laan, Gerrit;
  • Ercius, Peter;
  • Ophus, Colin;
  • Martin, Lane W;
  • Junquera, Javier;
  • Raschke, Markus B;
  • Ramesh, Ramamoorthy
  • et al.

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Polar textures have attracted substantial attention in recent years as a promising analog to spin-based textures in ferromagnets. Here, using optical second-harmonic generation–based circular dichroism, we demonstrate deterministic and reversible control of chirality over mesoscale regions in ferroelectric vortices using an applied electric field. The microscopic origins of the chirality, the pathway during the switching, and the mechanism for electric field control are described theoretically via phase-field modeling and second-principles simulations, and experimentally by examination of the microscopic response of the vortices under an applied field. The emergence of chirality from the combination of nonchiral materials and subsequent control of the handedness with an electric field has far-reaching implications for new electronics based on chirality as a field-controllable order parameter.

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