Electric-field control of the nucleation and motion of isolated three-fold polar vertices

Mingqiang Li, Tiannan Yang, Pan Chen, Yongjun Wang, Ruixue Zhu, Xiaomei Li, Ruochen Shi, Heng Jui Liu, Yen Lin Huang, Xiumei Ma, Jingmin Zhang, Xuedong Bai, Long Qing Chen, Ying Hao Chu, Peng Gao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Recently various topological polar structures have been discovered in oxide thin films. Despite the increasing evidence of their switchability under electrical and/or mechanical fields, the dynamic property of isolated ones, which is usually required for applications such as data storage, is still absent. Here, we show the controlled nucleation and motion of isolated three-fold vertices under an applied electric field. At the PbTiO3/SrRuO3 interface, a two-unit-cell thick SrTiO3 layer provides electrical boundary conditions for the formation of three-fold vertices. Utilizing the SrTiO3 layer and in situ electrical testing system, we find that isolated three-fold vertices can move in a controllable and reversible manner with a velocity up to ~629 nm s−1. Microstructural evolution of the nucleation and propagation of isolated three-fold vertices is further revealed by phase-field simulations. This work demonstrates the ability to electrically manipulate isolated three-fold vertices, shedding light on the dynamic property of isolated topological polar structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6340
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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