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Title: High Resolution Electromechanical Imaging of Ferroelectric Materials in a Liquid Environment by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy

Abstract

High-resolution imaging of ferroelectric materials using piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) is demonstrated in an aqueous environment. The elimination of both long-range electrostatic forces and capillary interactions results in a localization of the ac field to the tip-surface junction and allows the tip-surface contact area to be controlled. This approach results in spatial resolutions approaching the limit of the intrinsic domain-wall width. Imaging at frequencies corresponding to high-order cantilever resonances minimizes the viscous damping and added mass effects on cantilever dynamics and allows sensitivities comparable to ambient conditions. PFM in liquids will provide novel opportunities for high-resolution studies of ferroelectric materials, imaging of soft polymer materials, and imaging of biological systems in physiological environments on, ultimately, the molecular level.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1001698
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 23
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; DAMPING; ELECTROSTATICS; FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS; HYDRODYNAMIC MASS EFFECT; MICROSCOPY; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; PERFORMANCE

Citation Formats

Rodriguez, Brian J, Jesse, Stephen, Baddorf, Arthur P, and Kalinin, Sergei V. High Resolution Electromechanical Imaging of Ferroelectric Materials in a Liquid Environment by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.237602.
Rodriguez, Brian J, Jesse, Stephen, Baddorf, Arthur P, & Kalinin, Sergei V. High Resolution Electromechanical Imaging of Ferroelectric Materials in a Liquid Environment by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.237602.
Rodriguez, Brian J, Jesse, Stephen, Baddorf, Arthur P, and Kalinin, Sergei V. 2006. "High Resolution Electromechanical Imaging of Ferroelectric Materials in a Liquid Environment by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.237602.
@article{osti_1001698,
title = {High Resolution Electromechanical Imaging of Ferroelectric Materials in a Liquid Environment by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy},
author = {Rodriguez, Brian J and Jesse, Stephen and Baddorf, Arthur P and Kalinin, Sergei V},
abstractNote = {High-resolution imaging of ferroelectric materials using piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) is demonstrated in an aqueous environment. The elimination of both long-range electrostatic forces and capillary interactions results in a localization of the ac field to the tip-surface junction and allows the tip-surface contact area to be controlled. This approach results in spatial resolutions approaching the limit of the intrinsic domain-wall width. Imaging at frequencies corresponding to high-order cantilever resonances minimizes the viscous damping and added mass effects on cantilever dynamics and allows sensitivities comparable to ambient conditions. PFM in liquids will provide novel opportunities for high-resolution studies of ferroelectric materials, imaging of soft polymer materials, and imaging of biological systems in physiological environments on, ultimately, the molecular level.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.237602},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 23,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = 2006,
month = 1
}
  • Hysteresis loop analysis via piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) is typically performed to probe the existence of ferroelectricity at the nanoscale. But, such an approach is rather complex in accurately determining the pure contribution of ferroelectricity to the PFM. We suggest a facile method to discriminate the ferroelectric effect from the electromechanical (EM) response through the use of frequency dependent ac amplitude sweep with combination of hysteresis loops in PFM. This combined study through experimental and theoretical approaches verifies that this method can be used as a new tool to differentiate the ferroelectric effect from the other factors that contribute tomore » the EM response.« less
  • Here we introduce angle-resolved piezoresponse force microscopy (AR-PFM), whereby the sample is rotated by 30{sup o} increments around the surface normal vector and the in-plane PFM phase signals are collected at each angle. We obtained the AR-PFM images of BaTiO{sub 3} single crystal and cube-on-cube epitaxial (001) BiFeO{sub 3} (BFO) thin film on SrRuO{sub 3}/SrTiO{sub 3} substrate, and confirmed that the AR-PFM provides more unambiguous information on the in-plane polarization directions than the conventional PFM method. Moreover, we found eight additional in-plane polarization variants in epitaxial BFO thin films, which are formed to mitigate highly unstable charged domain boundaries.
  • The application of ferroelectric materials for electronic devices necessitates the quantitative study of local switching behavior, including imprint, coercive bias, remanent and saturation responses, and work of switching. Here we introduce switching spectroscopy piezoresponse force microscopy as a tool for real-space imaging of switching properties on the nanoscale. The hysteresis curves, acquired at each point in the image, are analyzed in the thermodynamic and kinetic limits. We expect that this approach will further understanding of the relationships between material microstructure and polarization switching phenomena on the nanoscale, and provide a quantitative tool for ferroelectric-based device characterization.
  • Probing electromechanical coupling in biological systems and electroactive molecules requires high-resolution imaging. Here, we investigate the feasibility of intermittent contact mode piezoresponse force microscopy based on simultaneous mechanical and electrical probe modulation. It is shown that the combination of (a) imaging at frequencies corresponding to the first contact resonance in (b) liquid allows contrast consistent with electromechanical signal to be obtained on model ferroelectric perovskites and tooth dentin.
  • Probing electromechanical coupling in biological systems and electroactive molecules requires high resolution functional imaging. Here, we investigate the feasibility of intermittent contact mode piezoresponse force microscopy based on simultaneous mechanical and electrical probe modulation. It is shown that imaging at frequencies corresponding to the first contact resonance in liquid allows contrast consistent with the electromechanical signal to be obtained for model ferroelectric systems and piezoelectric tooth dentin