Conductivity control via minimally invasive anti-Frenkel defects in a functional oxide
- Journal Article
Combining quantum effects with conductivity modulation in complex oxides requires mutually exclusive criteria, making applications difficult. Using tip-induced electrical generation of anti-Frenkel defects, conducting features in Er(Mn,Ti)O(3)are written with nanoscale precision while keeping structural integrity. Utilizing quantum effects in complex oxides, such as magnetism, multiferroicity and superconductivity, requires atomic-level control of the material's structure and composition. In contrast, the continuous conductivity changes that enable artificial oxide-based synapses and multiconfigurational devices are driven by redox reactions and domain reconfigurations, which entail long-range ionic migration and changes in stoichiometry or structure. Although both concepts hold great technological potential, combined applications seem difficult due to the mutually exclusive requirements. Here we demonstrate a route to overcome this limitation by controlling the conductivity in the functional oxide hexagonal Er(Mn,Ti)O(3)by using conductive atomic force microscopy to generate electric-field induced anti-Frenkel defects, that is, charge-neutral interstitial-vacancy pairs. These defects are generated with nanoscale spatial precision to locally enhance the electronic hopping conductivity by orders of magnitude without disturbing the ferroelectric order. We explain the non-volatile effects using density functional theory and discuss its universality, suggesting an alternative dimension to functional oxides and the development of multifunctional devices for next-generation nanotechnology. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Materials
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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