Persistent conductive footprints of 109 degrees domain walls in bismuth ferrite films
Using conductive and piezoforce microscopy, we reveal a complex picture of electronic transport at weakly conductive 109 degrees domain walls in bismuth ferrite films. Even once initial ferroelectric stripe domains are changed/erased, persistent conductive paths signal the original domain wall position. The conduction at such domain wall "footprints" is activated by domain movement and decays rapidly with time, but can be re-activated by opposite polarity voltage. The observed phenomena represent true leakage conduction rather than merely displacement currents. We propose a scenario of hopping transport in combination with thermionic injection over interfacial barriers controlled by the ferroelectric polarization. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.