Charge-order domain walls with enhanced conductivity in a layered manganite
Interfaces and boundaries in condensed-matter systems often have electronic properties distinct from the bulk material and thus have become a topic of both fundamental scientific interest and technological importance. Here we identify, using microwave impedance microscopy, enhanced conductivity of charge-order domain walls in the layered manganite Pr(Sr0.1Ca0.9)(2)Mn2O7. We obtain a complete mesoscopic map of surface topography, crystalline orientation and electronic phase, and visualize the thermal phase transition between two charge-ordered phases. In both phases, charge-order domains occur with domain walls showing enhanced conductivity likely due to local lifting of the charge order. Finite element analysis shows that the resolved domain walls can be as narrow as few nanometres. The domain walls are stabilized by structural twins and have a strong history dependence, suggesting that they may be manipulated to create novel devices.