[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2012; 109(25):9710-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report direct experimental evidence for a room-temperature, ∼130 μC/cm(2) ferroelectric polarization from the tetragonal-like BiFeO(3) phase. The physical origin of this remarkable enhancement of ferroelectric polarization has been investigated by a combination of x-ray absorption spectroscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and first principles calculations. A large strain-induced Fe-ion displacement relative to the oxygen octahedra, combined with the contribution of Bi 6s lone pair electrons, is the mechanism driving the large ferroelectric polarization in this tetragonal-like phase.