Nanoscale Ferroelectricity in Crystalline gamma-Glycine


Ferroelectrics are multifunctional materials that reversibly change their polarization under an electric field. Recently, the search for new ferroelectrics has focused on organic and bio-organic materials, where polarization switching is used to record/retrieve information in the form of ferroelectric domains. This progress has opened a new avenue for data storage, molecular recognition, and new self-assembly routes. Crystalline glycine is the simplest amino acid and is widely used by living organisms to build proteins. Here, it is reported for the first time that ?-glycine, which has been known to be piezoelectric since 1954, is also a ferroelectric, as evidenced by local electromechanical measurements and by the existence of as-grown and switchable ferroelectric domains in microcrystals grown from the solution. The experimental results are rationalized by molecular simulations that establish that the polarization vector in ?-glycine can be switched on the nanoscale level, opening a pathway to novel classes of bioelectronic logic and memory devices.




Chemistry; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science; Physics


Heredia, A; Meunier, V; Bdikin, IK; Gracio, J; Balke, N; Jesse, S; Tselev, A; Agarwal, PK; Sumpter, BG; Kalinin, SV; Kholkin, AL

nossos autores


This research was supported in part (S. V. K., N.B., S.J., A. T., and B. G. S.) by the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), which is sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy, and by the CNMS user program (A. L. K.). I. B. gratefully acknowledges his

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