Cross-sectional analysis of ferroelectric domains in PZT capacitors via piezoresponse force microscopy


Ferroelectric domains have been investigated on the cross-section of Pb(Zr0.55Ti0.45)O-3 (PZT) thin film capacitors by scanning probe microscopy. The static domain images on the cross-section were obtained by the lateral piezoresponse force microscopy (LPFM) method, in which the ac voltage used to induce the converse piezoelectric effect was applied between the conductive tip and the bottom electrode. The polarization component normal to the substrate could be characterized via both d(33) and d(15) piezoelectric coefficients, which resulted in a high resolution of LPFM images. After a variable dc bias was applied between the top and the bottom electrodes, the variations of domain image on the cross-section were recorded by the LPFM immediately. Upon the application of low bias, new domain sites appeared near the PZT/Pt interface opposite to the initial polarization. Forward stretch of new domains was facilitated under the dc field approaching the coercive field E-c. Under a very high field (about three times of the Ec), the sidewise expansion of columnar domains was observed. However, the domains were only partially switched even though a very high field was applied. The observed domain growth process indicated a lower energy barrier for nucleation compared with that of domain wall motion. Possible reasons for the incomplete switching are the substantial influences of the interface and depolarization in thin film capacitors.



subject category



Liu, JS; Zeng, HZ; Kholkin, AL

our authors

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".