Mobile and immobile boundaries in ferroelectric films
The intrinsic mobile interfaces in ferroelectrics—the domain walls can drive and enhance diverse ferroelectric properties, essential for modern applications. Control over the motion of domain walls is of high practical importance. Here we analyse theoretically and show experimentally epitaxial ferroelectric films, where mobile domain walls coexist and interact with immobile growth-induced interfaces—columnar boundaries. Whereas these boundaries do not disturb the long-range crystal order, they affect the behaviour of domain walls in a peculiar selective manner. The columnar boundaries substantially modify the behaviour of non-ferroelastic domains walls, but have negligible impact on the ferroelastic ones. The results suggest that introduction of immobile boundaries into ferroelectric films is a viable method to modify domain structures and dynamic responses at nano-scale that may serve to functionalization of a broader range of ferroelectric films where columnar boundaries naturally appear as a result of the 3D growth.