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Creators/Authors contains: "Martin, Lane W."

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  1. Abstract

    Bismuth ferrite has garnered considerable attention as a promising candidate for magnetoelectric spin-orbit coupled logic-in-memory. As model systems, epitaxial BiFeO3thin films have typically been deposited at relatively high temperatures (650–800 °C), higher than allowed for direct integration with silicon-CMOS platforms. Here, we circumvent this problem by growing lanthanum-substituted BiFeO3at 450 °C (which is reasonably compatible with silicon-CMOS integration) on epitaxial BaPb0.75Bi0.25O3electrodes. Notwithstanding the large lattice mismatch between the La-BiFeO3, BaPb0.75Bi0.25O3, and SrTiO3(001) substrates, all the layers in the heterostructures are well ordered with a [001] texture. Polarization mapping using atomic resolution STEM imaging and vector mapping established the short-range polarization ordering in the low temperature grown La-BiFeO3. Current-voltage, pulsed-switching, fatigue, and retention measurements follow the characteristic behavior of high-temperature grown La-BiFeO3, where SrRuO3typically serves as the metallic electrode. These results provide a possible route for realizing epitaxial multiferroics on complex-oxide buffer layers at low temperatures and opens the door for potential silicon-CMOS integration.

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  2. In ferroelectric heterostructures, the interaction between intrinsic polarization and the electric field generates a rich set of localized electrical properties. The local electric field is determined by several connected factors, including the charge distribution of individual unit cells, the interfacial electromechanical boundary conditions, and chemical composition of the interfaces. However, especially in ferroelectric perovskites, a complete description of the local electric field across micro-, nano-, and atomic-length scales is missing. Here, by applying four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy (4D STEM) with multiple probe sizes matching the size of structural features, we directly image the electric field of polarization vortices in (PbTiO3)16/(SrTiO3)16 superlattices and reveal different electric field configurations corresponding to the atomic scale electronic ordering and the nanoscale boundary conditions. The separability of two different fields probed by 4D STEM offers the possibility to reveal how each contributes to the electronic properties of the film.

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  3. Abstract Complex oxides show a vast range of functional responses, unparalleled within the inorganic solids realm, making them promising materials for applications as varied as next-generation field-effect transistors, spintronic devices, electro-optic modulators, pyroelectric detectors, or oxygen reduction catalysts. Their stability in ambient conditions, chemical versatility, and large susceptibility to minute structural and electronic modifications make them ideal subjects of study to discover emergent phenomena and to generate novel functionalities for next-generation devices. Recent advances in the synthesis of single-crystal, freestanding complex oxide membranes provide an unprecedented opportunity to study these materials in a nearly-ideal system (e.g. free of mechanical/thermal interaction with substrates) as well as expanding the range of tools for tweaking their order parameters (i.e. (anti-)ferromagnetic, (anti-)ferroelectric, ferroelastic), and increasing the possibility of achieving novel heterointegration approaches (including interfacing dissimilar materials) by avoiding the chemical, structural, or thermal constraints in synthesis processes. Here, we review the recent developments in the fabrication and characterization of complex-oxide membranes and discuss their potential for unraveling novel physicochemical phenomena at the nanoscale and for further exploiting their functionalities in technologically relevant devices. 
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  4. Abstract

    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.

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  5. Abstract Reducing the switching energy of ferroelectric thin films remains an important goal in the pursuit of ultralow-power ferroelectric memory and logic devices. Here, we elucidate the fundamental role of lattice dynamics in ferroelectric switching by studying both freestanding bismuth ferrite (BiFeO 3 ) membranes and films clamped to a substrate. We observe a distinct evolution of the ferroelectric domain pattern, from striped, 71° ferroelastic domains (spacing of ~100 nm) in clamped BiFeO 3 films, to large (10’s of micrometers) 180° domains in freestanding films. By removing the constraints imposed by mechanical clamping from the substrate, we can realize a ~40% reduction of the switching voltage and a consequent ~60% improvement in the switching speed. Our findings highlight the importance of a dynamic clamping process occurring during switching, which impacts strain, ferroelectric, and ferrodistortive order parameters and plays a critical role in setting the energetics and dynamics of ferroelectric switching. 
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