Epitaxial strain and electric boundary condition effects on the structural and ferroelectric properties of BiFeO3 films

Florian Johann, Alessio Morelli, Daniel Biggemann, Miryam Arredondo, Ionela Vrejoiu

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52 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of both compressive and tensile epitaxial strain along with the electrical boundary conditions on the ferroelastic and ferroelectric domain patterns of bismuth ferrite films was studied. BiFeO3 films were grown on SrTiO3(001), DyScO3(110), GdScO3(110), and SmScO3(110) substrates to investigate the effect of room temperature in-plane strain ranging from -1.4% to +0.75%. Piezoresponse force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction measurements, and ferroelectric polarization measurements were performed to study the properties of the films. We show that BiFeO3 films with and without SrRuO3 bottom electrode have different growth mechanisms and that in both cases reduction of the domain variants is possible. Without SrRuO 3, stripe domains with reduced variants are formed on all rare earth scandate substrates because of their monoclinic symmetry. In addition, tensile strained films exhibit a rotation of the unit cell with increasing film thickness. On the other side, the presence of SrRuO3 promotes step flow growth of BiFeO3. In case of vicinal SrTiO3 and DyScO3 substrates with high quality SrRuO3 bottom electrode and a low miscut angle of 0.15 we observed suppression of the formation of certain domain variants. The quite large in-plane misfit of SrRuO3 with GdScO3 and SmScO3 prevents the growth of high quality SrRuO3 films and subsequent domain variants reduction in BiFeO3 on these substrates, when SrRuO3 is used as a bottom electrode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094105
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Sept 2011


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