Journal article

Closed-circuit domain quadruplets in BaTiO3 nanorods embedded in a SrTiO3 film

Cylindrical BaTiO3 nanorods embedded in < 100 >-oriented SrTiO3 epitaxial film in a brushlike configuration are investigated in the framework of the Ginzburg-Landau-Devonshire model. It is shown that strain compatibility at BaTiO3/SrTiO3 interfaces keeps BaTiO3 nanorods in the rhombohedral phase even at room temperature. Depolarization field at the BaTiO3/SrTiO3 interfaces is reduced by an emission of the 109 degrees or 71 degrees domain boundaries. In case of 10-80-nm diameter nanorods, the ferroelectric domains are found to form a quadruplet with a robust flux-closure arrangement of the in-plane components of the spontaneous polarization. The out-of-plane components of the polarization are either balanced or oriented up or down along the nanorod axis. Switching of the out-of-plane polarization with coercive field of about 5 x 10(6) V/m occurs as a collapse of a 71 degrees cylindrical domain boundary formed at the curved circumference surface of the nanorod. The remnant domain quadruplet configuration is chiral, with the C-4 macroscopic symmetry. More complex stable domain configurations with coexisting clockwise and anticlockwise quadruplets contain interesting arrangement of strongly curved 71 degrees boundaries.


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