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Publication Detail
Metal–ferroelectric supercrystals with periodically curved metallic layers
Simultaneous manipulation of multiple boundary conditions in nanoscale heterostructures offers a versatile route to stabilizing unusual structures and emergent phases. Here, we show that a stable supercrystal phase comprising a three-dimensional ordering of nanoscale domains with tailored periodicities can be engineered in PbTiO3-SrRuO3 ferroelectric-metal superlattices. A combination of laboratory and synchrotron X-ray diffraction, piezoresponse force microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy and phase-field simulations reveals a complex hierarchical domain structure that forms to minimize the elastic and electrostatic energy. Large local deformations of the ferroelectric lattice are accommodated by periodic lattice modulations of the metallic SrRuO3 layers with curvatures up to 107 m-1. Our results show that multidomain ferroelectric systems can be exploited as versatile templates to induce large curvatures in correlated materials, and present a route for engineering correlated materials with modulated structural and electronic properties that can be controlled using electric fields.
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