Scanning probe microscopy reveals a drastic reduction of domain wall velocity in single-crystal complex oxides when interfacial bonds with the heteroepitaxial substrate are broken, to create a freestanding thin film.
Significance and Impact
We shed the first light on the local energy landscape and domain wall dynamics in mechanical boundary-free complex oxide layers. This will help to understand the intrinsic dynamic properties of complex oxides.
We created freestanding layers of epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (0.4-100 nm thick) using a selective wet etching technique.
- We performed piezoresponse, electrostatic force and microwave impedance microscopy to probe domain wall motion, width and roughness, local capacitance and surface polarization. Results are explained by flexoelectric effects due to nanoscale ripples in freestanding films, as evidenced by atomic force microscopy and hard x-ray nanoprobe studies.
About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
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