Polarization switching in (001)-oriented Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-x%PbTiO3 crystals: Direct observation of heterogeneous nucleation by piezoreponse force microscopy

Feiming Bai; JieFang Li; Viehland, D.
November 2004
Applied Physics Letters;11/8/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 19, p4457
Academic Journal
Polarization switching in (001)-oriented Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-x%PbTiO3, PMN-x%PT, crystals for x=20 and 35 has been investigated in situ by scanning force microscopy in a piezoresponse mode, under a step-increased dc electrical voltage (Vdc). The results demonstrate that switching initiates by the nucleation of nanosized polar regions with a reversed polarization. For x=20, nucleation occurs heterogeneously throughout the volume of the crystal. However, with increasing PT content, nucleation tends to preferentially initiate near preexisting twin boundaries; with increasing Vdc, the domains becoming increasingly “diffuse” due to heterogeneous nucleation and growth throughout the crystal.


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