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(Color online) (a) Schematic diagram of the experimental setup. (b) The pulse sequence used to study domain nucleation using the step-by-step switching scheme. To remove the imprint induced during each step, we applied 100 bipolar training pulses between the switching measurements. (c) Dependence of switching behaviors on the switching pulse width . The lines indicate the switched fraction obtained by the electrical measurements, and the symbols indicate the volume fraction of the reversed domains estimated from the PFM measurements. The inset shows a typical hysteresis loop of the epitaxial capacitor.
(Color online) (a) The spatial probability distribution of nucleation sites in a scan area in epitaxial capacitor. (b) The numerical distribution of nucleation sites in terms of the probability obtained from (a). The dependence of nucleus numbers on (c) and (d) in the initial stage of polarization switching. In (c), the numbers of reversed domains at are compared with at the same . In (d), the numbers of reversed domains when reaches a certain value (i.e., , 0.10, 0.15, or 0.20) are plotted. (e) The dependence of nucleus number on at .
(Color online) Visualization of nucleated domains from the PFM images under (a) positive and (b) negative pulses with . The nucleated domains are shown as the dark areas in (a) and as the bright areas in (b). The merged image shows that most of the reversed domains under a positive pulse become nucleated at different sites from those under a negative pulse. The difference image shows the sites in which reversed domains became nucleated under both positive and negative pulses.
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