Flexoelectricity can play an important role in the reversal of the self-polarization direction in epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films. The flexoelectric and interfacial effects compete with each other to determine the self-polarization state. In Region I, the self-polarization is downward because the interfacial effect is more dominant than the flexoelectric effect. In Region II, the self-polarization is upward, because the flexoelectric effect becomes more dominant than the interfacial effect.
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