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Published December 9, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Depletion Layers and Domain Walls in Semiconducting Ferroelectric Thin Films


Commonly used ferroelectric perovskites are also wide-band-gap semiconductors. In such materials, the polarization and the space-charge distribution are intimately coupled, and this Letter studies them simultaneously with no a priori ansatz on either. In particular, we study the structure of domain walls and the depletion layers that form at the metal-ferroelectric interfaces. We find the coupling between polarization and space charges leads to the formation of charge double layers at the 90° domain walls, which, like the depletion layers, are also decorated by defects like oxygen vacancies. In contrast, the 180° domain walls do not interact with the defects or space charges. Implications of these results to domain switching and fatigue in ferroelectric devices are discussed.

Additional Information

©2005 The American Physical Society (Received 27 August 2005; published 9 December 2005) We gratefully acknowledge the discussions with Jim Scott and Wei Zhang, and the financial support of the US Army Research Office through the MURI Grant No. DAAD 19-01-1-0517 and National Science Foundation through Grants No. CMS-0093714 and No. CMS-0210095.

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