Layer and spontaneous polarizations in perovskite oxides and their interplay in multiferroic bismuth ferrite
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
We review the concept of surface charge, first, in the context of the polarization in ferroelectric materials and, second, in the context of layers of charged ions in ionic insulators. While the former is traditionally discussed in the ferroelectrics community and the latter in the surface science community, we remind the reader that the two descriptions are conveniently unified within the modern theory of polarization. In both cases, the surface charge leads to electrostatic instability—the so-called “polar catastrophe”—if it is not compensated, and we review the range of phenomena that arise as a result of different compensation mechanisms. We illustrate these concepts using the example of the prototypical multiferroic bismuth ferrite, BiFeO3, which is unusual in that its spontaneous ferroelectric polarization and the polarization arising from its layer charges can be of the same magnitude. As a result, for certain combinations of polarization orientation and surface termination, its surface charge is self-compensating. We use density functional calculations of BiFeO3 slabs and superlattices, analysis of high-resolution transmission electron micrographs, and examples from the literature to explore the consequences of this peculiarity. Show more
Journal / seriesThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Organisational unit03903 - Spaldin, Nicola A. / Spaldin, Nicola A.
810451 - Hidden, entangled and resonating orders/HERO (EC)
744027 - Properties across dimensions: an atomistic computational study of bismuth ferrite surfaces and nanocrystals (EC)
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