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Keywords:

  • perovskites;
  • ferroelectricity;
  • cation order;
  • superlattices;
  • density functional theory
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Ferroelectric oxides do the twist. On page 1961, J. M. Rondinelli and C. J. Fennie explain how to engineer polar displacements, indicated by the gray arrows in the image, from rotations, a ‘twist-like’ distortion of corner-connected oxygen octahedra that are common to ABO3 perovskite oxides. The first-principles calculations reveal that layered A-site ordering, seen by the alternating gold and magenta spheres forming an atomic-scale superlattice, allows the octahedral rotations to induce ferroelectricity. Simple guidelines are outlined to realize these materials, creating a new route to ferroelectrics by design.