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We report on nanoscale strain gradients in ferroelectric HoMnO(3) epitaxial thin films, resulting in a giant flexoelectric effect. Using grazing-incidence in-plane x-ray diffraction, we measured strain gradients in the films, which were 6 or 7 orders of magnitude larger than typical values reported for bulk oxides. The combination of transmission electron(More)
We report direct observation of a "Pac-Man" like coarsening mechanism of a self-supporting thin film of nickel oxide. The ultrathin film has an intrinsic morphological instability due to surface stress leading to the development of local thicker regions at step edges. Density functional theory calculations and continuum modeling of the elastic instability(More)
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