Materials with switchable polarization are indispensable in memory devices, sensors, actuators, and transducers. In this publication Leopoldo Molina-Luna et al reported an unexpected phenomenon, the appearance of domain-like nanoregions (DLNRs) at extreme temperatures. The origin of the phenomenon can be ascribed to flexoelectricity, an intrinsic property of dielectric materials that can generate polarization under a strain induced by compositional gradients. To examine the origin of the DLNRs experimentally, the authors applied electric fields up to ±22 kV/mm at 800 °C and observed the dynamics by means of high resolution imaging. This discovery opens up a new exciting science and will certainly motivate the study and development of other high-temperature flexoelectric nanomaterials.

One of the many benefits of the Lightning in situ heating&biasing solution is the unique possibility of applying extreme electric fields at the highest temperature. This has certainly played an important role in the discovery the phenomenon that led to the Nature publication.

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