Understanding ferroelectricity in layered perovskites : new ideas and insights from theory and experiments
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ABO3 perovskites have fascinated solid-state chemists and physicists for decades because they display a seemingly inexhaustible variety of chemical and physical properties. However, despite the diversity of properties found among perovskites, very few of these materials are ferroelectric, or even polar, in bulk. In this Perspective, we highlight recent theoretical and experimental studies that have shown how a combination of non-polar structural distortions, commonly tilts or rotations of the BO6 octahedra, can give rise to polar structures or ferroelectricity in several families of layered perovskites. We discuss the crystal chemical origin of the polarization in each of these families -- which emerges through a so-called `trilinear coupling' or `hybrid improper' mechanism -- and emphasize areas in which further theoretical and experimental investigation is needed. We also consider how this mechanism may provide a generic route for designing not only new ferroelectrics, but also materials with various other multifunctionalities, such as magnetoelectrics and electric field-controllable metal-insulator transitions.
Benedek , N , Rondinelli , J , Djani , H , Lightfoot , P & Ghosez , P 2015 , ' Understanding ferroelectricity in layered perovskites : new ideas and insights from theory and experiments ' Dalton Transactions , vol 44 , no. 23 , pp. 10543-10558 . DOI: 10.1039/C5DT00010F
Copyright 2015 the Authors. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C5DT00010F
N. A. B. was supported by The Welch Foundation under Grant. No. F-1803. J. M. R. acknowledges support from the Penn State Center for Nanoscience, National Science Foundation grant no. DMR-1420620. Ph.G. acknowledges a research Professorship of the Francqui Foundation and financial supports of the ARC project TheMoTherm and FNRS project HiT4FiT.