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J Phys Condens Matter. 2012 Oct 10;24(40):402201. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/24/40/402201. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Novel complex phenomena in ferroelectric nanocomposites.

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Physics Department and Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.


A first-principles-based effective Hamiltonian is used to investigate finite-temperature properties of ferroelectric nanocomposites made of periodic arrays of ferroelectric nanowires embedded in a matrix formed by another ferroelectric material. Novel transitions and features related to flux-closure configurations are found. Examples include (i) a vortex core transition, that is characterized by the change of the vortex cores from being axisymmetric to exhibiting a 'broken symmetry'; (ii) translational mode of the vortex cores; (iii) striking zigzag dipolar chains along the vortex core axis; and (iv) phase-locking of ferroelectric vortices accompanied by ferroelectric antivortices. These complex phenomena are all found to coexist with a spontaneous electrical polarization aligned along the normal of the plane containing the vortices.

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