Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Nanodomain patterns in ultra-tetragonal lead titanate (PbTiO3)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Amit Kumar, Joseph G.M. Guy, Linxing Zhang, Jun Chen, J. Marty Gregg, James F. Scott

School/Research organisations


Very recently, the discovery of ultra-tetragonal PbTiO3 thin films was reported [Zhang et al., Science, 361, 494 (2018)], in which the switchable out-of-plane polarization was seen to be almost twice that of any previously known ferroelectric. To understand more about this system and to explore features that might contribute to these remarkable functional properties, we have mapped the polarization microstructure on the nanoscale using piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) (scan sizes less than 700 nm). Our study reveals an extremely fine-scale pattern, with individual domains typically 20-50 nm in size, all of which exhibit both out-of-plane and in-plane polarization components. In-plane vector PFM polarization maps show strongly charged quadrant-lattice domain arrays with fourfold domain wall junctions (vertices). The existence of fourfold vertices in ferroelectrics is rare but can be explained via the "Ashkin-Teller"model, in which very large interfacial lattice mismatch strains and local electric fields play a role. This ultra-tetragonal ferroelectric system was expected to contain straightforward c-axis out-of-plane 180° domains, but instead shows an extremely rich nanoscale domain tiling pattern; these unusual nanodomains may be important in facilitating the extremely high switchable polarization values previously reported.



Original languageEnglish
Article number182903
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by journal

  1. Applied Physics Letters (Journal)

    Finlay Morrison (Reviewer)

    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Continuous-wave operation of vertically emitting ring interband cascade lasers at room temperature

    Knoetig, H., Hinkov, B., Weih, R., Hoefling, S., Koeth, J. & Strasser, G., 30 Mar 2020, In: Applied Physics Letters. 116, 13, 5 p., 131101.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Photonics based perfect secrecy cryptography: toward fully classical implementations

    Mazzone, V., Di Falco, A., Cruz, A. & Fratalocchi, A., 29 Jun 2020, In: Applied Physics Letters. 116, 26, 5 p., 260502.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Spatio-temporal coherence in vertically emitting GaAs-based electrically driven polariton lasers

    Suchomel, H., Klaas, M., Betzold, S., Gagel, P., Beierlein, J., Klembt, S., Schneider, C. & Höfling, S., 27 Apr 2020, In: Applied Physics Letters. 116, 17, 171103.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Atomic ordering and bond relaxation in optical spectra of self-organized InP/GaInP2 Wigner molecule structures

    Mintairov, A. M., Lebedev, D. V., Bert, N., Belyaev, K. G., Nevedomskiy, V. N., Rakhlin, M. V., Toropov, A. A., Vlasov, A. S., Gocalinska, A., Juska, G., Pelucchi, E., Arredondo, M. A., Naden, A. B., Shelaev, A. V. & Bykov, V. A., 12 Nov 2019, In: Applied Physics Letters. 115, 20, 5 p., 202104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 271014170