Interface modulated currents in periodically proton exchanged Mg doped lithium niobate


Conductivity in Mg doped lithium niobate (Mg:LN) plays a key role in the reduction of photorefraction and is therefore widely exploited in optical devices. However, charge transport through Mg:LN and across interfaces such as electrodes also yields potential electronic applications in devices with switchable conductivity states. Furthermore, the introduction of proton exchanged (PE) phases in Mg:LN enhances ionic conductivity, thus providing tailorability of conduction mechanisms and functionality dependent on sample composition. To facilitate the construction and design of such multifunctional electronic devices based on periodically PE Mg:LN or similar ferroelectric semiconductors, fundamental understanding of charge transport in these materials, as well as the impact of internal and external interfaces, is essential. In order to gain insight into polarization and interface dependent conductivity due to band bending, UV illumination, and chemical reactivity, wedge shaped samples consisting of polar oriented Mg:LN and PE phases were investigated using conductive atomic force microscopy. In Mg:LN, three conductivity states (on/off/transient) were observed under UV illumination, controllable by the polarity of the sample and the externally applied electric field. Measurements of currents originating from electrochemical reactions at the metal electrode-PE phase interfaces demonstrate a memresistive and rectifying capability of the PE phase. Furthermore, internal interfaces such as domain walls and Mg:LN-PE phase boundaries were found to play a major role in the accumulation of charge carriers due to polarization gradients, which can lead to increased currents. The insight gained from these findings yield the potential for multifunctional applications such as switchable UV sensitive micro-and nanoelectronic devices and bistable memristors. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.






Neumayer, SM; Manzo, M; Kholkin, AL; Gallo, K; Rodriguez, BJ

nossos autores


This research was funded by the European Commission within FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network

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