Ferroelectric domain wall dynamics characterized with X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy

Semën Gorfman, Alexei A. Bokov, Arman Davtyan, Mario Reiser, Yujuan Xie, Zuo Guang Ye, Alexey V. Zozulya, Michael Sprung, Ullrich Pietsch, Christian Gutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technologically important properties of ferroic materials are determined by their intricate response to external stimuli. This response is driven by distortions of the crystal structure and/or by domain wall motion. Experimental separation of these two mechanisms is a challenging problem which has not been solved so far. Here, we apply X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) to extract the contribution of domain wall dynamics to the overall response. Furthermore, we show how to distinguish the dynamics related to the passing of domain walls through the periodic (Peierls) potential of the crystal lattice and through the random potential caused by lattice defects (pinning centers). The approach involves the statistical analysis of correlations between X-ray speckle patterns produced by the interference of coherent synchrotron X-rays scattered from different nanosize volumes of the crystal and identification of Poisson-type contribution to the statistics. We find such a contribution in the thermally driven response of the monoclinic phase of a ferroelectric PbZr0.55Ti0.45O3 crystal and calculate the number of domain wall jumps in the studied microvolume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E6680-E6689
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number29
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2018


  • Domain walls
  • Ferroelectrics
  • PZT
  • Speckle patterns
  • X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy


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