Stabilization of monodomain polarization in ultrathin PbTiO3 films

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Mar 31;96(12):127601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.127601. Epub 2006 Mar 28.


Using in situ high-resolution synchrotron x-ray scattering, the Curie temperature TC has been determined for ultrathin c-axis epitaxial PbTiO3 films on conducting substrates (SrRuO3 on SrTiO3), with surfaces exposed to a controlled vapor environment. The suppression of TC was relatively small, even for the thinnest film (1.2 nm). We observe that 180 degrees stripe domains do not form, indicating that the depolarizing field is compensated by free charge at both interfaces. This is confirmed by ab initio calculations that find polar ground states in the presence of ionic adsorbates.