02232nas a2200385 4500008004100000022001300041245009100054210006900145300001600214490000800230520113600238653001201374653001601386653002901402653001101431653002001442653001301462653002201475653002101497653002101518653001901539653001701558653001901575100001801594700002001612700001401632700001401646700001301660700002401673700001801697700001501715700001801730700002101748856007701769 2007 eng d a0027842400aIntrinsic single-domain switching in ferroelectric materials on a nearly ideal surface0 aIntrinsic singledomain switching in ferroelectric materials on a a20204-202090 v1043 aFerroelectric domain nucleation and growth in multiferroic BiFeO3 is studied on a single-domain level by using piezoresponse force spectroscopy. Variation of local electromechanical response with dc tip bias is used to determine the size of the domain formed below the conductive scanning probe tip. The domain parameters are calculated self-consistently from the decoupled Green function theory by using tip geometry determined from the domain wall profile. The critical parameters of the nucleating domain and the activation energy for nucleation are determined. The switching mechanism is modeled by using the phase-field method, and comparison with experimental results shows that the nucleation biases are within a factor of ≈2 of the intrinsic thermodynamic limit. The role of atomic-scale defects and long-range elastic fields on nucleation bias lowering is discussed. These measurements open a pathway for quantitative studies of the role of a single defect on kinetics and thermodynamics of first order bias-induced phase transitions and electrochemical reactions. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.10aArticle10acalculation10aelectrochemical analysis10aenergy10airon derivative10akinetics10aMaterials testing10aphase transition10apriority journal10aprotein domain10aspectroscopy10athermodynamics1 aKalinin, S.V.1 aRodriguez, B.J.1 aJesse, S.1 aChu, Y.H.1 aZhao, T.1 aRamesh, Ramamoorthy1 aChoudhury, S.1 aChen, L.Q.1 aEliseev, E.A.1 aMorozovska, A.N. uhttps://rameshlab.lbl.gov/publications/intrinsic-single-domain-switching