Enhanced flexoelectricity at reduced dimensions revealed by mechanically tunable quantum tunnelling

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Title
Enhanced flexoelectricity at reduced dimensions revealed by mechanically tunable quantum tunnelling
Author(s)
Saikat Das; Wang B.; Paudel T.R.; Sung Min Park; Tsymbal E.Y.; Chen L.-Q.; Daesu Lee; Tae Won Noh
Publication Date
2019-02
Journal
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v.10, no., pp.537 -
Publisher
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Abstract
Flexoelectricity is a universal electromechanical coupling effect whereby all dielectric materials polarise in response to strain gradients. In particular, nanoscale flexoelectricity promises exotic phenomena and functions, but reliable characterisation methods are required to unlock its potential. Here, we report anomalous mechanical control of quantum tunnelling that allows for characterising nanoscale flexoelectricity. By applying strain gradients with an atomic force microscope tip, we systematically polarise an ultrathin film of otherwise nonpolar SrTiO3, and simultaneously measure tunnel current across it. The measured tunnel current exhibits critical behaviour as a function of strain gradients, which manifests large modification of tunnel barrier profiles via flexoelectricity. Further analysis of this critical behaviour reveals significantly enhanced flexocoupling strength in ultrathin SrTiO3, compared to that in bulk, rendering flexoelectricity more potent at the nanoscale. Our study not only suggests possible applications exploiting dynamic mechanical control of quantum effect, but also paves the way to characterise nanoscale flexoelectricity. © 2019, The Author(s)
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/5711
ISSN
2041-1723
Appears in Collections:
Center for Correlated Electron Systems(강상관계 물질 연구단) > Journal Papers (저널논문)
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