First-principles study of ferroelectric domain walls in multiferroic bismuth ferrite

A. Lubk, S. Gemming, N.A. Spaldin
Arxiv ID: 0909.5294Last updated: 4/6/2021
We present a first-principles density functional study of the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of the ferroelectric domain walls in multiferroic BiFeO3. We find that domain walls in which the rotations of the oxygen octahedra do not change their phase when the polarization reorients are the most favorable, and of these the 109 degree domain wall centered around the BiO plane has the lowest energy. The 109 degree and 180 degree walls have a significant change in the component of their polarization perpendicular to the wall; the corresponding step in the electrostatic potential is consistent with a recent report of electrical conductivity at the domain walls. Finally, we show that changes in the Fe-O-Fe bond angles at the domain walls cause changes in the canting of the Fe magnetic moments which can enhance the local magnetization at the domain walls.

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