Sub-Nanosecond Reconfiguration of Ferroelectric Domains in Bismuth Ferrite

Burak Guzelturk, Tiannan Yang, Yu Chen Liu, Chia Chun Wei, Gal Orenstein, Mariano Trigo, Tao Zhou, Benjamin T. Diroll, Martin V. Holt, Haidan Wen, Long Qing Chen, Jan Chi Yang, Aaron M. Lindenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Domain switching is crucial for achieving desired functions in ferroic materials that are used in various applications. Fast control of domains at sub-nanosecond timescales remains a challenge despite its potential for high-speed operation in random-access memories, photonic, and nanoelectronic devices. Here, ultrafast laser excitation is shown to transiently melt and reconfigure ferroelectric stripe domains in multiferroic bismuth ferrite on a timescale faster than 100 picoseconds. This dynamic behavior is visualized by picosecond- and nanometer-resolved X-ray diffraction and time-resolved X-ray diffuse scattering. The disordering of stripe domains is attributed to the screening of depolarization fields by photogenerated carriers resulting in the formation of charged domain walls, as supported by phase-field simulations. Furthermore, the recovery of disordered domains exhibits subdiffusive growth on nanosecond timescales, with a non-equilibrium domain velocity reaching up to 10 m s−1. These findings present a new approach to image and manipulate ferroelectric domains on sub-nanosecond timescales, which can be further extended into other complex photoferroic systems to modulate their electronic, optical, and magnetic properties beyond gigahertz frequencies. This approach could pave the way for high-speed ferroelectric data storage and computing, and, more broadly, defines new approaches for visualizing the non-equilibrium dynamics of heterogeneous and disordered materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2306029
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 2 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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