Local conductance: A means to extract polarization and depolarizing fields near domain walls in ferroelectrics

A. M. Douglas, A. Kumar, R. W. Whatmore, J. M. Gregg

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Conducting atomic force microscopy images of bulk semiconducting BaTiO3 surfaces show clear stripe domain contrast. High local conductance correlates with strong out-of-plane polarization (mapped independently using piezoresponse force microscopy), and current- voltage characteristics are consistent with dipole-induced alterations in Schottky barriers at the metallic tip-ferroelectric interface. Indeed, analyzing current-voltage data in terms of established Schottky barrier models allows relative variations in the surface polarization, and hence the local domain structure, to be determined. Fitting also reveals the signature of surface-related depolarizing fields concentrated near domain walls. Domain information obtained from mapping local conductance appears to be more surface-sensitive than that from piezoresponse force microscopy. In the right materials systems, local current mapping could therefore represent a useful complementary technique for evaluating polarization and local electric fields with nanoscale resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number172905
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2015

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