Formation of Head/Tail-to-Body Charged Domain Walls by Mechanical Stress

Qianwei Huang, Jiyuan Yang, Zibin Chen (Corresponding Author), Yujie Chen, Matthew J. Cabral, Haosu Luo, Fei Li, Shujun Zhang, Yulan Li, Zonghan Xie, Houbing Huang, Yiu Wing Mai, Simon P. Ringer, Shi Liu, Xiaozhou Liao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Domain walls (DWs) in ferroelectric materials are interfaces that separate domains with different polarizations. Charged domain walls (CDWs) and neutral domain walls are commonly classified depending on the charge state at the DWs. CDWs are particularly attractive as they are configurable elements, which can enhance field susceptibility and enable functionalities such as conductance control. However, it is difficult to achieve CDWs in practice. Here, we demonstrate that applying mechanical stress is a robust and reproducible approach to generate CDWs. By mechanical compression, CDWs with a head/tail-to-body configuration were introduced in ultrathin BaTiO3, which was revealed by in-situ transmission electron microscopy. Finite element analysis shows strong strain fluctuation in ultrathin BaTiO3 under compressive mechanical stress. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the strain fluctuation is a critical factor in forming CDWs. This study provides insight into ferroelectric DWs and opens a pathway to creating CDWs in ferroelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2313-2318
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2023


  • charged domain walls
  • domain switching
  • ferroelectric
  • strain gradient
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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