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Novel Nanoscale Twinned Phases in Perovskite Oxides

Authors

  • Sergey Prosandeev,

    Corresponding author
    1. Physics Department and Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
    • Physics Department and Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.
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  • Dawei Wang,

    1. Electronic Materials Research Laboratory, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education and International Center for Dielectric Research, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710049, China
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  • Wei Ren,

    1. Physics Department and Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
    2. Department of Physics, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai 200444, China
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  • Jorge Íñiguez,

    1. Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
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  • Laurent Bellaiche

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

Perovskite oxides form a fascinating class of materials because they possess many active degrees of freedom that result in a large variety of physical effects. One important structural parameter controlling the behavior of perovskites is the tilting of the oxygen octahedral. Among other properties, this tilting is coupled with the electric and magnetic orders, which leads to novel and potentially useful phenomena; recent examples include new mechanisms for improper and triggered ferroelectricity, rich phase diagrams, and novel chiral phases, counter-intuitive behaviors of ferroelectric and multiferroic films, and weak ferromagnetism in otherwise antiferromagnetic materials. Interestingly, most perovskites present the same tilted structures, which are few in number and fairly simple. In contrast, here we use different theoretical methods to show that a complete new family of stable phases, all displaying complex and nano-twinned tilting patterns (as well as other anomalous properties), exists in multiferroic BiFeO3 and related compounds.

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