We report deterministic selection of polarization variant in bismuth BiFeO3 nanoislands via a two-step scanning probe microscopy procedure. The polarization orientation in a nanoisland is toggled to the desired variant after a reset operation by scanning a conductive atomic force probe in contact over the surface while a bias is applied. The final polarization variant is determined by the direction of the inhomogeneous in-plane trailing field associated with the moving probe tip. This work provides the framework for better control of switching in rhombohedral ferroelectrics and for a deeper understanding of exchange coupling in multiferroic nanoscale heterostructures toward the realization of magnetoelectric devices.
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- Bismuth ferrite
- polarization switching
- scanning probe microscopy