Inverting polar domains via electrical pulsing in metallic germanium telluride.

Author(s) Nukala, P.; Ren, M.; Agarwal, R.; Berger, J.; Liu, G.; Johnson, A.T.Charlie; Agarwal, R.
Journal Nat Commun
Date Published 2017 Apr 12

Germanium telluride (GeTe) is both polar and metallic, an unusual combination of properties in any material system. The large concentration of free-carriers in GeTe precludes the coupling of external electric field with internal polarization, rendering it ineffective for conventional ferroelectric applications and polarization switching. Here we investigate alternate ways of coupling the polar domains in GeTe to external electrical stimuli through optical second harmonic generation polarimetry and in situ TEM electrical testing on single-crystalline GeTe nanowires. We show that anti-phase boundaries, created from current pulses (heat shocks), invert the polarization of selective domains resulting in reorganization of certain 71(o) domain boundaries into 109(o) boundaries. These boundaries subsequently interact and evolve with the partial dislocations, which migrate from domain to domain with the carrier-wind force (electrical current). This work suggests that current pulses and carrier-wind force could be external stimuli for domain engineering in ferroelectrics with significant current leakage.

DOI 10.1038/ncomms15033
ISSN 2041-1723
Citation Nat Commun. 2017;8:15033.

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