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Visualization and manipulation of meta-stable polarization variants in multiferroic materials
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Image of FIG. 1.

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FIG. 1.

Schematic representation of angle-resolved piezoresponse force microscopy (AR-PFM) (a) in three-dimensional perspective and (b) the corresponding output phase as a function of sample rotation angle from 0° to 180° with 30° intervals.

Image of FIG. 2.

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FIG. 2.

In-plane domain configuration and polarization switching dynamics. In-plane domain map at the (a) as-deposited state and (b) local in-plane polarization configurations overlapped with vertically switched regions (dark brown regions) by stepwise poling voltages. Scale bars in Fig. 2(b) represent 50 nm.

Image of FIG. 3.

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FIG. 3.

In-plane domain map (a) after poling process and (b) local in-plane polarization configurations. Scale bars in Fig. 3(b) represent 50 nm. Schematics of polarization variants (c, d) and their spatial distribution (e, f) at as-deposited state (c, e) and after the poling process (d, f).

Image of FIG. 4.

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FIG. 4.

Comparison of polarization variant distributions between as-grown state and after the poling process. Areal fraction of in-plane polarization variants of (a) as-deposited and (b) vertically switched states over the whole scan area. Reversed triangle-shaped marks represent the areal fractions of in-plane polarization variants pointing to the <111> directions.

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/content/aip/journal/adva/3/4/10.1063/1.4802249
2013-04-12
2014-04-21

Abstract

Here we demonstrate the role of meta-stable polarization variants in out-of-plane polarization switching behavior in epitaxially grown BiFeO thin films using angle-resolved piezoresponse force microscopy (AR-PFM). The out-of-plane polarization switching mainly occurred at the boundary between meta-stable and stable polarization domains, and was accompanied by a significant change in in-plane domain configuration from complicated structure with 12 polarization variants to simple stripe structure with 4 polarization variants. These results imply that the biased tip rearranges the delicately balanced domain configuration, which is determined by the competition between electrostatic and strain energies, into simple interweaving one that is more thermodynamically stable.

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Scitation: Visualization and manipulation of meta-stable polarization variants in multiferroic materials
http://aip.metastore.ingenta.com/content/aip/journal/adva/3/4/10.1063/1.4802249
10.1063/1.4802249
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