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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. The AA′-stacked FCGT is a new class of room-temperature Néel-type skyrmion hosting material with C 6v symmetry. 
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  3. Abstract

    Despite extensive studies on size effects in ferroelectrics, how structures and properties evolve in antiferroelectrics with reduced dimensions still remains elusive. Given the enormous potential of utilizing antiferroelectrics for high‐energy‐density storage applications, understanding their size effects will provide key information for optimizing device performances at small scales. Here, the fundamental intrinsic size dependence of antiferroelectricity in lead‐free NaNbO3membranes is investigated. Via a wide range of experimental and theoretical approaches, an intriguing antiferroelectric‐to‐ferroelectric transition upon reducing membrane thickness is probed. This size effect leads to a ferroelectric single‐phase below 40 nm, as well as a mixed‐phase state with ferroelectric and antiferroelectric orders coexisting above this critical thickness. Furthermore, it is shown that the antiferroelectric and ferroelectric orders are electrically switchable. First‐principle calculations further reveal that the observed transition is driven by the structural distortion arising from the membrane surface. This work provides direct experimental evidence for intrinsic size‐driven scaling in antiferroelectrics and demonstrates enormous potential of utilizing size effects to drive emergent properties in environmentally benign lead‐free oxides with the membrane platform.

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