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Mapping the complex evolution of ferroelastic/ferroelectric domain patterns in epitaxially strained PbTiO3 heterostructures

Published on June 29, 2023

We study the complex ferroelastic/ferroelectric domain structure in the prototypical ferroelectric PbTiO3 epitaxially strained on (110)o-oriented DyScO3 substrates, using a combination of atomic force microscopy, laboratory and synchrotron x-ray diffraction, and high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy. We observe that the anisotropic strain imposed by the orthorhombic substrate creates a large asymmetry in the domain configuration, with domain walls macroscopically aligned along one of the two in-plane directions. We show that the periodicity as a function of film thickness deviates from the Kittel law. As the ferroelectric film thickness increases, we find that the domain configuration evolves from flux-closure to a/c-phase, with a larger scale arrangement of domains into superdomains.


Céline Lichtensteiger, Marios Hadjimichael, Edoardo Zatterin, Chia-Ping Su, Iaroslav Gaponenko, Ludovica Tovaglieri, Patrycja Paruch, Alexandre Gloter and Jean-Marc Triscone