Phase transitions and domain structures in strained pseudocubic (100) SrTi O3 thin films

Y. L. Li, S. Choudhury, J. H. Haeni, M. D. Biegalski, A. Vasudevarao, A. Sharan, H. Z. Ma, J. Levy, Venkatraman Gopalan, S. Trolier-Mckinstry, D. G. Schlom, Q. X. Jia, L. Q. Chen

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The mutual interactions between a structural transition and a ferroelectric transition are analyzed for different strain states in a pseudocubic (100) SrTi O3 film by examining the equilibrium solutions of the total free energy as a function of polarization, strain and structural order parameter. The range of possible ferroelectric transition temperatures and the possible ferroelectric states of a strained SrTi O3 film are determined with respect to the variation in the reported properties of bulk SrTi O3 single crystals. The ferroelectric and structural domain morphologies at a biaxial tensile strain e0 =0.94% were predicted using phase-field simulations. It is shown that variations in the reported values of bulk properties and in the Landau energy coefficients from different literature sources lead not only to a wide range of possible transition temperatures at a given strain, but also to different ferroelectric states (e.g., polarization along the pseudocubic 110 vs 100 directions) thus different domain structures under a biaxial tensile strain. Both optical second harmonic generation and confocal scanning optical microscopy measurements demonstrate that the domain states in SrTi O3 films strained at e0 =0.94% and 1.16% exhibit polar directions along the pseudocubic 110 directions within the pseudocubic (001) plane of the film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184112
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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