Features of the ferroelectric domain structure in the multiferroic material YbMnO3

Takumi Inoshita, Yasuhide Inoue, Yoichi Horibe, Yasumasa Koyama

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The multiferroic material YbMnO3 has been reported to exhibit both ferroelectric and antiferromagnetic orders in the ground state. Of these two orders, the ferroelectric order is associated with the P63/mmc-to-P63cm structural transition, which occurs around 1270 K. The interesting feature of the ferroelectric state is that a cloverleaf domain structure with a pseudo-six-fold symmetry is observed in transmission electron microscopy images with the beam incidence parallel to the hexagonal axis. To understand the origin of the formation of the cloverleaf domain structure, we have examined the crystallographic features of the ferroelectric state in YbMnO3 by transmission electron microscopy. In this study, particularly, we adopted the experimental condition that electron beam incidences are perpendicular to the hexagonal axis. It was, as a result, found that there existed various ferroelectric domain structures including the cloverleaf domain structure under the present condition. The notable feature of domain structures found in this study is that each domain structure basically consists of six domains, whose domain boundaries are terminated at one point. Because this feature makes us reminiscent of a discommensurate structure in an incommensurate state, we took high-resolution electron micrographs of areas including domain boundaries. Their analysis indicated that a domain boundary could be identified as a discommensuration with a phase slip of π/3. It is thus understood that the cloverleaf domain structure should be one of domain morphologies for a discommensurate structure, which is related to the break of the translational symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-596
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • crystallographic structure
  • oxide
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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