Ferroelectric domain walls differ from domains not only in their crystalline and discrete symmetry, but also in their electronic, magnetic, and mechanical properties. Although domain walls provide a degree of freedom to regulate the physical properties at the nanoscale, the relatively lower controllability prevents their practical applications in nano-devices. In this work, with the advantages of 3D domain configuration detection based on piezoresponse force microscopy, we find that the mobility of three types of domain walls (tail-to-tail, head-to-tail, head-to-head) in (001) BiFeO3 films varies with the applied electrical field. Under low voltages, head-to-tail domain walls are more mobile than other domain walls, while, under high voltages, tail-to-tail domain walls become rather active and possess relatively long average lengths. This is due to the high nucleation energy and relatively low growth energy for charged domain walls. Finally, we demonstrate the manipulation of domain walls through successive electric writings, resulting in well-aligned conduction paths as designed, paving the way for their application in advanced spintronic, memory and communication nano-devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- domain wall
- piezoresponse force microscopy
- thin film