Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



APL MATERIALS 2, 066101 (2014)


© 2014 Authors. All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


In this paper, using a resonance-enhanced piezoresponse force microscopy approach supported by density functional theory computer simulations, we have demonstrated the ferroelectric switching in epitaxial GeTe films. It has been shown that in films with thickness on the order of several nanometers reversible reorientation of polarization occurs due to swapping of the shorter and longer Ge-Te bonds in the interior of the material. It is also hinted that for ultra thin films consisting of just several atomic layers weakly bonded to the substrate, ferroelectric switching may proceed through exchange of Ge and Te planes within individual GeTe layers.