Twin-boundary-mediated flexoelectricity in LaAlO3

Christopher A. Mizzi, Binghao Guo, Laurence D. Marks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flexoelectricity has garnered much attention owing to its ability to bring electromechanical functionality to nonpiezoelectric materials and its nanoscale significance. In order to move towards a more complete understanding of this phenomenon and improve the efficacy of flexoelectric-based devices, it is necessary to quantify microstructural contributions to flexoelectricity. Here we directly measure the flexoelectric response of bulk centrosymmetric LaAlO3 crystals with different twin-boundary microstructures. We show that twin-boundary flexoelectric contributions are comparable to intrinsic contributions at room temperature and enhance the flexoelectric response by ∼4× at elevated temperatures. Additionally, we observe time-dependent and nonlinear flexoelectric responses associated with strain-gradient-induced twin-boundary polarization. These results are explained by considering the interplay between twin-boundary orientation, beam-bending strain fields, and pinning site interactions, and directly demonstrate that macroscopic flexoelectric responses are very sensitive to structural defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064406
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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