Domain Dynamics during Ferroelectric Switching


The utility of ferroelectric materials stems from the ability to nucleate and move polarized domains using an electric field. To understand the mechanisms of polarization switching, structural characterization at the nanoscale is required. We used aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy to follow the kinetics and dynamics of ferroelectric switching at millisecond temporal and subangstrom spatial resolution in an epitaxial bilayer of an antiferromagnetic ferroelectric (BiFeO3) on a ferromagnetic electrode (La0.7Sr0.3MnO3). We observed localized nucleation events at the electrode interface, domain wall pinning on point defects, and the formation of ferroelectric domains localized to the ferroelectric and ferromagnetic interface. These results show how defects and interfaces impede full ferroelectric switching of a thin film.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

biomedical and dental materials; ferroelectric material; ferromagnetic material; unclassified drug, electric field; electricity industry; electrode; film; nanotechnology; polarization; spatial resolution; transmission electron microscopy, article; electric field; electrode; materials; nanoanalysis; priority journal; thermodynamics; transmission electron microscopy

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0036-8075; 1095-9203

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2011