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Size Effects in Epitaxial Ferroelectrics: Revisited Once More!!

  • Chun-Lin Jia (a1), Nagarajan Valanoor (a2), Jia-Qing He (a1), Lothar Houben (a1), Tong Zhao (a3), Ramamoorthy Ramesh (a3), Rainer Waser (a1) and Knut Urban (a1)...

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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.

Abstract

We present a high-resolution transmission electron microscopy study, on the unit-cell scale, of the degree of tetragonality and the displacements of cations away from the centrosymmetry positions in an ultra-thin epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 film on a SrRuO3 electrode layer deposited on a SrTiO3 substrate. TEM results show that the lattice is highly tetragonal at the centre of the film with a c/a ratio of about 1.08, while it shows a reduced degree of tetragonality in the regions close to the interfaces. Most strikingly, we find that the maximum off-centre displacements for the central area of the film do not scale with the tetragonality in comparison with the bulk materials. The calculated switched polarization from the measured cationic displacement is 80 ìC/cm2 , and thus only half of the nominal bulk value. It is in very good agreement with electrical measurements of the switched polarization obtained via the PUND method. Furthermore, a systematic reduction of the atomic displacements is measured at the interfaces. This suggests that interface-induced suppression of the ferroelectric polarization plays a critical role in the size effect of nanoscale ferroelectrics. These issues will be discussed further in this presentation. This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants DMR-0132918, NSF-MRSEC DMR-0080008, and an NSF US-Europe program DMR-0244288. V.N also acknowledges the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for his stay in Germany and the financial support of an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 0666231.

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