Controlling the crystal structure of ferroelectric materials via epitaxial strain, which is a well-known technique in strain engineering, can lead to the formation of unique domain structures generating non-intrinsic phenomena such as electronic conductivity, photovoltages, and enhanced piezoelectric characteristics. Strained BaTiO3 films are promising ferroelectric materials as theoretical modeling predicts that different domain morphologies can introduce additional properties not observed in conventional BaTiO3 ceramics. To rationally design materials for practical application, a thorough understanding of the formation mechanisms and stabilities of different domain structures in strained BaTiO3 films is required. However, there have been very few experimental reports on this topic, and details about the domain structures in strained BaTiO3 films are currently lacking. In this paper, we report multiphase nanodomains in a strained BaTiO3 film deposited on an orthorhombic GdScO3 substrate. The phase-transition behavior of the strained BaTiO3 film reveals that it contains multiple phases at room temperature; the film first undergoes a phase-transition upon heating at around 550 K, and then a paraelectric phase forms at temperatures above 690 K. A picometer-scale analysis of the Ti ion displacements, using an advanced scanning transmission electron microscopy technique, is used to characterize the complex multiphase nanodomains, providing useful insights into the control of domain structures in BaTiO3 films by applying epitaxial strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)