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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Probing Metastable Domain Dynamics via Automated Experimentation in Piezoresponse Force Microscopy.

Abstract

The dynamics of complex topological defects in ferroelectric materials is explored using automated experimentation in piezoresponse force microscopy. Specifically, a complex trigger system (i.e., "FerroBot") is employed to study metastable domain-wall dynamics in Pb0.6Sr0.4TiO3 thin films. Several regimes of superdomain wall dynamics have been identified, including smooth domain-wall motion and significant reconfiguration of the domain structures. We have further demonstrated that microscopic mechanisms of the domain-wall dynamics can be identified; i.e., domain-wall bending can be separated from irreversible domain reconfiguration regimes. In conjunction, phase-field modeling was used to corroborate the observed mechanisms. As such, the observed superdomain dynamics can provide a model system for classical ferroelectric dynamics, much like how colloidal crystals provide a model system for atomic and molecular systems.

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