Impact of Crystalline Orientation on the Switching Field in Barium Titanate Using Piezoresponse Force Spectroscopy

NK Ponon, DJR Appleby, E Arac, KSK Kwa, JP Goss, U Hannemann, PK Petrov, NM Alford and A O'Neill
MRS Proceedings

Understanding crystal orientation at the ferroelectric domain level, using a non destructive technique, is crucial for the design and characterization of nano-scale devices. In this study, piezoresponse force spectroscopy (PFS) is used to identify ferroelectric domain orientation. The impact of crystal orientation on the switching field of ferroelectric BaTiO3 is also investigated at the domain level. The preferential domain orientations for BaTiO3 thin films prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in this study are [001], [101] and [111]. They have been mapped onto PFS spectra to show three corresponding switching fields of 460, 330 and 120 kV/cm respectively. In addition, the electric field at which the enhanced piezoresponse occurs was found to vary, due to a phase change. The polarization reversal occurs via a 2-step process (rotation and switching) for [101] and [111] orientations. The piezoresponse enhancement is absent for the [001] (pure switching) domains. The results demonstrate that an electric field induced phase change causes the [101] and [111] domains to reverse polarization at a lower field than the [001] domain.

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