The effect of antinotches on domain wall mobility in single crystal ferroelectric nanowires

Nano Lett. 2010 Sep 8;10(9):3566-71. doi: 10.1021/nl101830d.


Changes in domain wall mobility, caused by the presence of antinotches in single crystal BaTiO(3) nanowires, have been investigated. While antinotches appeared to cause a slight broadening in the distribution of switching events, observed as a function of applied electric field (inferred from capacitance-voltage measurements), the effect was often subtle. Greater clarity of information was obtained from Rayleigh analysis of the capacitance variation with ac field amplitude. Here the magnitude of the domain wall mobility parameter (alpha) associated with irreversible wall movements was found to be reduced by the presence of antinotches--an effect which became more noticeable on heating toward the Curie temperature. The reduction in this domain wall mobility was contrasted with the noticeable enhancement found previously in ferroelectric wires with notches. Finite element modeling of the electric field, developed in the nanowires during switching, revealed regions of increased and decreased local field at the center of the notch and antinotch structures, respectively; the absolute magnitude of field enhancement in the notch centers was considerably greater than the field reduction in the center of the antinotches and this was commensurate with the manner in, and degree to, which domain wall mobility appeared to be affected. We therefore conclude that the main mechanism by which morphology alters the irreversible component of the domain wall mobility in ferroelectric wire structures is via the manner in which morphological variations alter the spatial distribution of the electric field.