Exploring topological defects in epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films

Rama K. Vasudevan, Yi Chun Chen, Hsiang Hua Tai, Nina Balke, Pingping Wu, Saswata Bhattacharya, L. Q. Chen, Ying Hao Chu, I. Nan Lin, Sergei V. Kalinin, Valanoor Nagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Using a combination of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and phase-field modeling, we demonstrate ubiquitous formation of center-type and possible ferroelectric closure domain arrangements during polarization switching near the ferroelastic domain walls in (100) oriented rhombohedral BiFeO3. The formation of these topological defects is determined from the vertical and lateral PFM data and confirmed from the reversible changes in surface topography. These observations provide insight into the mechanisms of tip-induced ferroelastic domain control and suggest that formation of topological defect states under the action of local defect- and tip-induced fields is much more common than previously believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-887
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 22 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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