Low-Symmetry Phases in Ferroelectric Nanowires


  • Louis Laurence
  • Gemeiner P.
  • Ponomareva I.
  • Bellaiche L.
  • Geneste G.
  • Ma W.
  • Setter N.
  • Dkhil B.


Ferroelectric nanostructures have recently attracted much attention due to the quest of miniaturizing devices and discovering novel phenomena. In particular, studies conducted on two-dimensional and zero-dimensional ferroelectrics have revealed original properties and their dependences on mechanical and electrical boundary conditions. Meanwhile, researches aimed at discovering and understanding properties of one-dimensional ferroelectric nanostruccures are scarce. The determination of the structural phase and of the direction of the polarization in one-dimensional ferroelectrics is of technological importance, since, e.g., a low-symmetry phase in which the polarization lies away from a highly symmetric direction typically generates phenomenal dielectric and electromechanical responses. Here, we investigate the phase transition sequence of nanowires made of KNbO3 and BaTiO3 perovskites, by combining X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and first-principles-based calculations. We provide evidence of a previously unreported ferroelectric ground state of monoclinic symmetry and the tuning of the polarization's direction by varying factors inherent to the nanoscale.

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