Full control of polarization in ferroelectric thin films using growth temperature to modulate defects

Christian Weymann, Céline Lichtensteiger, Stéphanie Fernandez-Peña, Aaron B. Naden, Liv R. Dedon, Lane W. Martin, Jean-Marc Triscone, Patrycja Paruch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Deterministic control of the intrinsic polarization state of ferroelectric thin films is essential for device applications. Independently of the well-established role of electrostatic boundary conditions and epitaxial strain, the importance of growth temperature as a tool to stabilize a target polarization state during thin film growth is shown here. Full control of the intrinsic polarization orientation of PbTiO3 thin films is demonstrated-from monodomain up, through polydomain, to monodomain down as imaged by piezoresponse force microscopy-using changes in the film growth temperature. X-ray diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy reveal a variation of c-axis related to out-of-plane strain gradients. These measurements, supported by Ginzburg-Landau-Devonshire free energy calculations and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, point to a defect mediated polarization gradient initiated by a temperature dependent effective built-in field during growth, allowing polarization control not only under specific growth conditions, but ex-situ, for subsequent processing and device applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2000852
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Electronic Materials
VolumeEarly View
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Oct 2020


  • Built-in voltage
  • Defect dipoles
  • Ferroelectric thin films
  • Lead titanate
  • Polarization control


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