Transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) moiré superlattices, owing to the moiré flatbands and strong correlation, can host periodic electron crystals and fascinating correlated physics. The TMDC heterojunctions in the type-II alignment also enable long-lived interlayer excitons that are promising for correlated bosonic states, while the interaction is dictated by the asymmetry of the heterojunction. Here we demonstrate a new excitonic state, quadrupolar exciton, in a symmetric WSe2-WS2-WSe2trilayer moiré superlattice. The quadrupolar excitons exhibit a quadratic dependence on the electric field, distinctively different from the linear Stark shift of the dipolar excitons in heterobilayers. This quadrupolar exciton stems from the hybridization of WSe2valence moiré flatbands. The same mechanism also gives rise to an interlayer Mott insulator state, in which the two WSe2layers share one hole laterally confined in one moiré unit cell. In contrast, the hole occupation probability in each layer can be continuously tuned via an out-of-plane electric field, reaching 100% in the top or bottom WSe2under a large electric field, accompanying the transition from quadrupolar excitons to dipolar excitons. Our work demonstrates a trilayer moiré system as a new exciting playground for realizing novel correlated states and engineering quantum phase transitions.
The manipulation of charge and lattice degrees of freedom in atomically precise, low‐dimensional ferroelectric superlattices can lead to exotic polar structures, such as a vortex state. The role of interfaces in the evolution of the vortex state in these superlattices (and the associated electrostatic and elastic boundary conditions they produce) has remained unclear. Here, the toroidal state, arranged in arrays of alternating clockwise/counterclockwise polar vortices, in a confined SrTiO3/PbTiO3/SrTiO3trilayer is investigated. By utilizing a combination of transmission electron microscopy, synchrotron‐based X‐ray diffraction, and phase‐field modeling, the phase transition as a function of layer thickness (number of unit cells) demonstrates how the vortex state emerges from the ferroelectric state by varying the thickness of the confined PbTiO3layer. Intriguingly, the vortex state arises at head‐to‐head domain boundaries in ferroelectric
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Advanced Materials
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Polar skyrmions are predicted to emerge from the interplay of elastic, electrostatic and gradient energies, in contrast to the key role of the anti-symmetric Dzyalozhinskii-Moriya interaction in magnetic skyrmions. Here, we explore the reversible transition from a skyrmion state (topological charge of −1) to a two-dimensional, tetratic lattice of merons (with topological charge of −1/2) upon varying the temperature and elastic boundary conditions in [(PbTiO3)
16/(SrTiO3) 16] 8membranes. This topological phase transition is accompanied by a change in chirality, from zero-net chirality (in meronic phase) to net-handedness (in skyrmionic phase). We show how scanning electron diffraction provides a robust measure of the local polarization simultaneously with the strain state at sub-nm resolution, while also directly mapping the chirality of each skyrmion. Using this, we demonstrate strain as a crucial order parameter to drive isotropic-to-anisotropic structural transitions of chiral polar skyrmions to non-chiral merons, validated with X-ray reciprocal space mapping and phase-field simulations.
The ability to produce atomically precise, artificial oxide heterostructures allows for the possibility of producing exotic phases and enhanced susceptibilities not found in parent materials. Typical ferroelectric materials either exhibit large saturation polarization away from a phase boundary or large dielectric susceptibility near a phase boundary. Both large ferroelectric polarization and dielectric permittivity are attained wherein fully epitaxial (PbZr0.8Ti0.2O3)
n/(PbZr0.4Ti0.6O3)2 n( n= 2, 4, 6, 8, 16 unit cells) superlattices are produced such that the overall film chemistry is at the morphotropic phase boundary, but constitutive layers are not. Long‐ ( n≥ 6) and short‐period ( n= 2) superlattices reveal large ferroelectric saturation polarization ( Ps= 64 µC cm−2) and small dielectric permittivity (εr≈ 400 at 10 kHz). Intermediate‐period ( n= 4) superlattices, however, exhibit both large ferroelectric saturation polarization ( Ps= 64 µC cm−2) and dielectric permittivity (εr= 776 at 10 kHz). First‐order reversal curve analysis reveals the presence of switching distributions for each parent layer and a third, interfacial layer wherein superlattice periodicity modulates the volume fraction of each switching distribution and thus the overall material response. This reveals that deterministic creation of artificial superlattices is an effective pathway for designing materials with enhanced responses to applied bias.
The ferroelectric domain pattern within lithographically defined PbTiO 3 /SrTiO 3 ferroelectric/dielectric heteroepitaxial superlattice nanostructures is strongly influenced by the edges of the structures. Synchrotron X-ray nanobeam diffraction reveals that the spontaneously formed 180° ferroelectric stripe domains exhibited by such superlattices adopt a configuration in rectangular nanostructures in which domain walls are aligned with long patterned edges. The angular distribution of X-ray diffuse scattering intensity from nanodomains indicates that domains are aligned within an angular range of approximately 20° with respect to the edges. Computational studies based on a time-dependent Landau–Ginzburg–Devonshire model show that the preferred direction of the alignment results from lowering of the bulk and electrostrictive contributions to the free energy of the system due to the release of the lateral mechanical constraint. This unexpected alignment appears to be intrinsic and not a result of distortions or defects caused by the patterning process. Our work demonstrates how nanostructuring and patterning of heteroepitaxial superlattices allow for pathways to create and control ferroelectric structures that may appear counterintuitive.more » « less
Observation of a new type of nanoscale ferroelectric domains, termed as “bubble domains”—laterally confined spheroids of sub‐10 nm size with local dipoles self‐aligned in a direction opposite to the macroscopic polarization of a surrounding ferroelectric matrix—is reported. The bubble domains appear in ultrathin epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3/SrTiO3/PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3ferroelectric sandwich structures due to the interplay between charge and lattice degrees of freedom. The existence of the bubble domains is revealed by high‐resolution piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), and is corroborated by aberration‐corrected atomic‐resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy mapping of the polarization displacements. An incommensurate phase and symmetry breaking is found within these domains resulting in local polarization rotation and hence impart a mixed Néel–Bloch‐like character to the bubble domain walls. PFM hysteresis loops for the bubble domains reveal that they undergo an irreversible phase transition to cylindrical domains under the electric field, accompanied by a transient rise in the electromechanical response. The observations are in agreement with ab‐initio‐based calculations, which reveal a very narrow window of electrical and elastic parameters that allow the existence of bubble domains. The findings highlight the richness of polar topologies possible in ultrathin ferroelectric structures and bring forward the prospect of emergent functionalities due to topological transitions.