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Keywords:

  • transition metal oxides;
  • multiferroics;
  • BiFeO3;
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy;
  • piezoresponse force microscopy
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Heterointerface stabilization of a distinct nonpolar BiFeO3 phase occurs simultaneously with changes in octahedral tilts. The resulting phase arises via suppression of polarization by a structural order parameter and can thus be identified as anti-ferroelectric (Fe displacements – bottom panel). The phase is metastable and can be switched into a polar ferroelectric state (top panel) under an applied electric bias.