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Understanding the influence of defects and surface chemistry on ferroelectric switching: a ReaxFF investigation of BaTiO3

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Abstract

Ferroelectric materials such as barium titanate (BaTiO3) have a wide range of applications in nano scale electronic devices due to their outstanding properties. In this study, we developed an easily extendable atomistic ReaxFF reactive force field for BaTiO3 that can capture both its field- and temperature-induced ferroelectric hysteresis and corresponding changes due to surface chemistry and bulk defects. Using our force field, we were able to reproduce and explain a number of experimental observations: (1) the existence of a critical thickness of 4.8 nm below which ferroelectricity vanishes in BaTiO3; (2) migration and clustering of oxygen vacancies (OVs) in BaTiO3 and a reduction in the polarization and the Curie temperature due to the OVs; (3) domain wall interaction with the surface chemistry to influence the ferroelectric switching and polarization magnitude. This new computational tool opens up a wide range of possibilities for making predictions for realistic ferroelectric interfaces in energy-conversion, electronic and neuromorphic systems.

Graphical abstract: Understanding the influence of defects and surface chemistry on ferroelectric switching: a ReaxFF investigation of BaTiO3

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 May 2019, accepted on 26 Jul 2019 and first published on 26 Jul 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP02955A
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Advance Article

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    Understanding the influence of defects and surface chemistry on ferroelectric switching: a ReaxFF investigation of BaTiO3

    D. Akbarian, D. E. Yilmaz, Y. Cao, P. Ganesh, I. Dabo, J. Munro, R. Van Ginhoven and A. C. T. van Duin, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9CP02955A

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