Skyrmionic states in ferroelectrics


Domain walls in ferroelectrics are naturally formed 2D solitons with a defined, nm-thick polarization profile stable over macroscopic lateral dimensions. Strong coupling of the polarization gradient with strain drastically changes the material properties within the domain wall thickness. Increasing attention is paid to these mobile interfaces because the characterization tools have recently reached the desired nanoscale resolution, needed to uncover the rich spectrum of new phenomena expected there. We are convinced that some ferroelectrics can also host 1D analogues of domain walls, i.e. spontaneously formed ferroelectric line solitons, similar to the recently experimentally confirmed Bogdanov-Yablonskitype magnetic skyrmion lines. We wish to extend the explorations also to these interesting topological objects and to pave a path to the experimental discovery of the ferroelectric skyrmion phases, analogous to the vortex states in superconductors and skyrmion phases of chiral magnets.