Nature communications

A diode for ferroelectric domain-wall motion.

PMID 26059779


For over a decade, controlling domain-wall injection, motion and annihilation along nanowires has been the preserve of the nanomagnetics research community. Revolutionary technologies have resulted, like racetrack memory and domain-wall logic. Until recently, equivalent research in analogous ferroic materials did not seem important. However, with the discovery of sheet conduction, the control of domain walls in ferroelectrics has become vital for the future of what has been termed 'domain-wall electronics'. Here we report the creation of a ferroelectric domain-wall diode, which allows a single direction of motion for all domain walls, irrespective of their polarity, under a series of alternating electric field pulses. The diode's sawtooth morphology is central to its function. Domain walls can move readily in the direction in which thickness increases gradually, but are prevented from moving in the other direction by the sudden thickness increase at the sawtooth edge.