Anisotropic, meandering domain microstructure in the improper ferroelectric CsNbW2O9

Shane J. McCartan, Patrick W. Turner, Jason Allan McNulty, Jesi R. Maguire, Conor J. McCluskey, Finlay D. Morrison, J. Marty Gregg, Ian MacLaren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


The improper ferroelectric CsNbW2O9 has recently been highlighted as the first material outside the manganite family to exhibit a similar meandering, six-fold domain structure to that responsible for enhanced and diminished conduction at charged domain walls in the rare earth manganites. While there is no current evidence for variation in domain wall conduction relative to bulk in CsNbW2O9, the similarities in microstructure strongly suggest that charged domain walls are present in this material. Herein, we report a comprehensive study of the domain microstructure of CsNbW2O9 using both piezoresponse force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy to reveal that there are, in fact, clear distinctions in the domain structure of the two systems. Constraints arising from the crystal structure of CsNbW2O9, namely, the connectivity of the BO6 polyhedra and atomic displacements occurring purely along the c axis, mean that domain walls preferentially run parallel to the c direction (the polar axis of the material) and thus remain uncharged. The characteristic cloverleaf domain structure reminiscent of the manganites is still present, however, the structure meanders predominantly in the ab plane and, therefore, appears differently depending on the projection direction from which it is viewed. As a result of this microstructural constraint, charged domain walls are not prevalent in this material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101108
Number of pages9
JournalAPL Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


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