Rotational polarization nanotopologies in BaTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices†
Ferroelectrics are characterized by domain structures as are other ferroics. At the nanoscale though, ferroelectrics may exhibit non-trivial or exotic polarization configurations under proper electrostatic and elastic conditions. These polar states may possess emerging properties not present in the bulk compounds and are promising for technological applications. Here, the observation of rotational polarization topologies at the nanoscale by means of aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy is reported in BaTiO3/SrTiO3 superlattices grown on cubic SrTiO3(001). The transition from a highly homogeneous polarization state to the formation of rotational nanodomains has been achieved by controlling the superlattice period while maintaining compressive clamping of the superlattice to the cubic SrTiO3 substrate. The nanodomains revealed in BaTiO3 prove that its nominal tetragonal structure also allows rotational polar textures.