skip to main content


Title: Charge collection kinetics on ferroelectric polymer surface using charge gradient microscopy

Here, a charge gradient microscopy (CGM) probe was used to collect surface screening charges on poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] thin films. These charges are naturally formed on unscreened ferroelectric domains in ambient condition. The CGM data were used to map the local electric current originating from the collected surface charges on the poled ferroelectric domains in the P(VDF-TrFE) thin films. Both the direction and amount of the collected current were controlled by changing the polarity and area of the poled domains. The endurance of charge collection by rubbing the CGM tip on the polymer film was limited to 20 scan cycles, after which the current reduced to almost zero. This degradation was attributed to the increase of the chemical bonding strength between the external screening charges and the polarization charges. Once this degradation mechanism is mitigated, the CGM technique can be applied to efficient energy harvesting devices using polymer ferroelectrics.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States). Materials Science Division
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States). Nanoscience and Technology Division
  3. Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States). Department of Physics and Astronomy, Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; charge gradient microscopy; charge scraping mechanism; degradation; ferroelectric polymers
OSTI Identifier: