Journal article

Controlling domain wall motion in ferroelectric thin films

Domain walls in ferroic materials have attracted significant interest in recent years, in particular because of the unique properties that can be found in their vicinity(1-3). However, to fully harness their potential as nanoscale functional entities(4,5), it is essential to achieve reliable and precise control of their nucleation, location, number and velocity. Here, using piezoresponse forcemicroscopy, we showthe control andmanipulation of domain walls in ferroelectric thin films of Pb(Zr, Ti)O-3 with Pt top electrodes. This high-level control presents an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the versatility and flexibility of ferroelectric domain walls. Their position can be controlled by the tuning of voltage pulses, and multiple domain walls can be nucleated and handled in a reproducible fashion. The system is accurately described by analogy to the classical Stefan problem(6), which has been used previously to describe many diverse systems and is here applied to electric circuits. This study is a step towards the realization of domain wall nanoelectronics utilizing ferroelectric thin films.


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