Watching domains grow: In-situ studies of polarization switching by combined scanning probe and scanning transmission electron microscopy
Chang, H., S.V. Kalinin, S. Yang, P. Yu, S. Bhattacharya, P.P. Wu, N. Balke, S. Jesse, L.Q. Chen, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, S.J. Pennycook, A.Y. Borisevich
Ferroelectric domain nucleation and growth in multiferroic BiFeO 3 films is observed directly by applying a local electric field with a conductive tip inside a scanning transmission electron microscope. The nucleation and growth of a ferroelastic domain and its interaction with pre-existing 71° domain walls are observed and compared with the results of phase-field modeling. In particular, a preferential nucleation site and direction-dependent pinning of domain walls are observed due to slow kinetics of metastable switching in the sample without a bottom electrode. These in situ spatially resolved observations of a first-order bias-induced phase transition reveal the mesoscopic mechanisms underpinning functionality of a wide range of multiferroic materials. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.
Journal of Applied Physics
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