Physics and applications of charged domain walls

The charged domain wall is an ultrathin (typically nanosized) interface between two domains; it carries bound charge owing to a change of normal component of spontaneous polarization on crossing the wall. In contrast to hetero-interfaces between different materials, charged domain walls (CDWs) can be created, displaced, erased, and recreated again in the bulk of a material. Screening of the bound charge with free carriers is often necessary for stability of CDWs, which can result in giant two-dimensional conductivity along the wall. Usually in nominally insulating ferroelectrics, the concentration of free carriers at the walls can approach metallic values. Thus, CDWs can be viewed as ultrathin reconfigurable strongly conductive sheets embedded into the bulk of an insulating material. This feature is highly attractive for future nanoelectronics. The last decade was marked by a surge of research interest in CDWs. It resulted in numerous breakthroughs in controllable and reproducible fabrication of CDWs in different materials, in investigation of CDW properties and charge compensation mechanisms, in discovery of light-induced effects, and, finally, in detection of giant two-dimensional conductivity. The present review is aiming at a concise presentation of the main physical ideas behind CDWs and a brief overview of the most important theoretical and experimental findings in the field.

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Npj Computational Materials, 4, 65
Nov 30 2018

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 Record created 2018-12-22, last modified 2020-04-20

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