Jirka Hlinka is Head of the Department of Dielectrics at the Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the Czech Technical University in 1991. From 1992 to 1995 he conducted research at Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires in Saclay, France, and after receiving his Ph.D. in condensed-matter physics from Université Paris Sud in Orsay (1995) he become a permanent staff member of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. Hlinka is currently interested in nanoscale phenomena in ferroelectric, relaxor, and composite materials, in theories of ferroelectric and ferroelastic domains and domain walls, and in investigations of lattice-dynamical aspects of phase transitions by infrared spectroscopy and inelastic light, x-ray, and neutron scattering techniques.
Scientists have found that the spontaneous ferroelectric polarization can be fully and reversibly flipped by varying partial oxygen pressure above the surface of an epitaxially compressed film. The inward polarized state is stabilized by ordered oxygen vacancies in the topmost atomic layer.