Domain wall conductivity in semiconducting hexagonal ferroelectric TbMnO3 thin films

D. J. Kim, J. G. Connell, S. S.A. Seo, A. Gruverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although enhanced conductivity of ferroelectric domain boundaries has been found in BiFeO3 and Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 films as well as hexagonal rare-earth manganite single crystals, the mechanism of the domain wall conductivity is still under debate. Using conductive atomic force microscopy, we observe enhanced conductance at the electrically-neutral domain walls in semiconducting hexagonal ferroelectric TbMnO3 thin films where the structure and polarization direction are strongly constrained along the c-axis. This result indicates that domain wall conductivity in ferroelectric rare-earth manganites is not limited to charged domain walls. We show that the observed conductivity in the TbMnO3 films is governed by a single conduction mechanism, namely, the back-to-back Schottky diodes tuned by the segregation of defects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155705
Issue number15
StatePublished - Mar 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was supported by the US Department of Energy, Materials Sciences Division, under Award No. DE-SC0004876 (conductive atomic force microscopy characterization) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Nebraska Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) under Grant No. DMR-1420645 (modeling). The work (sample preparation) at the University of Kentucky was supported by the NSF through Grant No. DMR-1454200, No. EPS-0814194 (the Center for Advanced Materials), and by the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation with the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation through Grant Agreement No. KSEF-148-502-14-328. DJK was partly supported by IBS-R009-G1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • back-to-back Schottky barrier
  • conductive atomic force microscopy
  • domain wall conductivity
  • ferroelectric
  • hexagonal manganite
  • semiconducting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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