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Nat Commun. 2016 Oct 26;7:13199. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13199.

Permanent ferroelectric retention of BiFeO3 mesocrystal.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan.
Department of Materials and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China.
National Center for Electron Microscopy in Beijing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Department of Physics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan.
Key Lab of Polar Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China.
Department of Physics, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan.


Non-volatile electronic devices based on magnetoelectric multiferroics have triggered new possibilities of outperforming conventional devices for applications. However, ferroelectric reliability issues, such as imprint, retention and fatigue, must be solved before the realization of practical devices. In this study, everlasting ferroelectric retention in the heteroepitaxially constrained multiferroic mesocrystal is reported, suggesting a new approach to overcome the failure of ferroelectric retention. Studied by scanning probe microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, and supported via the phase-field simulations, the key to the success of ferroelectric retention is to prevent the crystal from ferroelastic deformation during the relaxation of the spontaneous polarization in a ferroelectric nanocrystal.

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