Conductivity Contrast and Tunneling Charge Transport in the Vortexlike Ferroelectric Domain Patterns of Multiferroic Hexagonal YMnO_{3}.

Physical review letters

PubMedID: 28157363

Ruff E, Krohns S, Lilienblum M, Meier D, Fiebig M, Lunkenheimer P, Loidl A. Conductivity Contrast and Tunneling Charge Transport in the Vortexlike Ferroelectric Domain Patterns of Multiferroic Hexagonal YMnO_{3}. Phys Rev Lett. 2017;118(3):036803.
We deduce the intrinsic conductivity properties of the ferroelectric domain walls around the topologically protected domain vortex cores in multiferroic YMnO_{3}. This is achieved by performing a careful equivalent-circuit analysis of dielectric spectra measured in single-crystalline samples with different vortex densities. The conductivity contrast between the bulk domains and the less conducting domain boundaries is revealed to reach up to a factor of 500 at room temperature, depending on the sample preparation. Tunneling of localized defect charge carriers is the dominant charge-transport process in the domain walls that are depleted of mobile charge carriers. This work demonstrates that, via equivalent-circuit analysis, dielectric spectroscopy can provide valuable information on the intrinsic charge-transport properties of ferroelectric domain walls, which is of high relevance for the design of new domain-wall-based microelectronic devices.