Local-probe imaging of the ferroelectric domain structure and auxiliary bulk pyroelectric measurements were conducted at low temperatures with the aim to clarify the essential aspects of the orbitally driven phase transition in GaMo4S8, a lacunar spinel crystal that can be viewed as a spin-hole analogue of its GaV4S8 counterpart. We employed multiple scanning probe techniques combined with symmetry and mechanical compatibility analysis to uncover the hierarchical domain structures, developing on the 10-100 nm scale. The identified domain architecture involves a plethora of ferroelectric domain boundaries and junctions, including primary and secondary domain walls in both electrically neutral and charged configurations, and topological line defects transforming neutral secondary walls into two oppositely charged ones.
- domain walls
- Kelvin probe force microscopy
- lacunar spinel
- piezoresponse force microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics