Charged domain walls in improper ferroelectric hexagonal manganites and gallates
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS. 2018, 2 (11), 114405-?. 10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.2.114405
Ferroelectric domain walls are attracting broad attention as atomic-scale switches, diodes and mobile wires for next-generation nanoelectronics. Charged domain walls in improper ferroelectrics are particularly interesting as they offer multifunctional properties and an inherent stability not found in proper ferroelectrics. Here we study the energetics and structure of charged walls in improper ferroelectric YMnO3, InMnO3 and YGaO3 by first principles calculations and phenomenological modeling. Positively and negatively charged walls are asymmetric in terms of local structure and width, reflecting that polarization is not the driving force for domain formation. The wall width scales with the amplitude of the primary structural order parameter and the coupling strength to the polarization. We introduce general rules for how to engineer n- and p-type domain wall conductivity based on the domain size, polarization and electronic band gap. This opens the possibility of fine-tuning the local transport properties and design p-n-junctions for domain wall-based nano-circuitry.