Domain size and charge defects on the polarization switching of antiferroelectric domains


Influence of charge defects on AFE structures and hysteresis loops. (a) Initialized randomly distributed negative and positive charge defects in the simulation. (b) The hysteresis loops of AFE domain structures with different charge strength ρ. (c)-(e) Stable domain structures with different charge strengths, (c) ρ = 0.25C/m2, (d) ρ = 0.50C/m², (e) ρ = 0.75C/m².

Authors: Zhen Liu, Boyi Zhong, Bai-Xiang Xu

The switching behavior of antiferroelectric domain structures under the applied electric field is not fully understood. In this work, by using the phase field simulation, we have studied the polarization switching property of antiferroelectric domains. Our results indicate that the ferroelectric domains nucleate preferably at the boundaries of the antiferroelectric domains, and antiferroelectrics with larger initial domain sizes possess a higher coercive electric field as demonstrated by hysteresis loops. Moreover, we introduced charge defects into the sample and numerically investigated their influence. It is also shown that charge defects can induce local ferroelectric domains, which could suppress the saturation polarization and narrow the enclosed area of the hysteresis loop. Our results give insights into understanding antiferroelectric phase transformation and optimizing the energy storage property in experiments.