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Intermittency, quasiperiodicity and chaos in probe-induced ferroelectric domain switching

Abstract

Memristive materials and devices, which enable information storage and processing on one and the same physical platform, offer an alternative to conventional von Neumann computation architectures. Their continuous spectra of states with intricate field-history dependence give rise to complex dynamics, the spatial aspect of which has not been studied in detail yet. Here, we demonstrate that ferroelectric domain switching induced by a scanning probe microscopy tip exhibits rich pattern dynamics, including intermittency, quasiperiodicity and chaos. These effects are due to the interplay between tip-induced polarization switching and screening charge dynamics, and can be mapped onto the logistic map. Our findings may have implications for ferroelectric storage, nanostructure fabrication and transistor-less logic.

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Figure 1: LiNbO3 sample overview and domain writing schematics.
Figure 2: Evolution of domain morphologies in a single chain as a function of writing conditions.
Figure 3: Evolution of the domain patterns.
Figure 4: Modelling domain writing.
Figure 5: Numerical solutions for various conditions.
Figure 6: Comparison of experimental and modelled results.

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Acknowledgements

A part of this research (S.J., E.S., A.K., S.V.K.) was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy. A.V.I. and V.Y.S. acknowledge CNMS user proposal, RFBR (Grants 11-02-91066-CNRS-a, 13-02-01391-a, 13-02-96041-r-Ural-a), Ministry of Education and Science (Contract 14.513.12.0006). Y.V.P. was supported by National Science Foundation grant ECCS-1202383. The authors gratefully acknowledge Y. Wu (Tufts University) for posting the original version of the chaos analysis codes on the MathWorks website. A.N.M. and E.A.E. acknowledge the support through the bilateral SFFR-NSF project (US National Science Foundation under NSF-DMR-1210588 and State Fund of Fundamental State Fund of Fundamental Research of Ukraine, grant UU48/002). We gratefully acknowledge A. K. Tagantsev (EPFL) for valuable advice on the role of screening phenomena on ferroelectric phase stability, and B. Sumpter and S. Pennycook (ORNL) for illuminating discussions. S.V.K. and V.Y.S. would like to acknowledge many useful discussions with the late Y. D. Tretyakov (Moscow State University, Russia), who introduced them to the field of chaos and fractals in solid-state systems and inspired this work, and dedicate this paper to him in memoriam.

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Contributions

A.V.I. obtained and analysed the experimental data. S.V.K. proposed the concept and wrote (with A.N.M. and A.V.I.) the paper. E.S. and A.K. assisted in development of the experimental set-up and development of modelling codes. A.N.M. and E.A.E. developed theoretical analysis of the screening process and derived recursive formulae for domains in the chain. S.J. wrote the codes for simulating chaotic dynamics. Y.V.P. analysed the applications of the observed phenomena in information technology. S.V.K. and V.Y.S. directed the research.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to V. Ya. Shur or S. V. Kalinin.

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Ievlev, A., Jesse, S., Morozovska, A. et al. Intermittency, quasiperiodicity and chaos in probe-induced ferroelectric domain switching. Nature Phys 10, 59–66 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys2796

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