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Title: Humidity effects on tip-induced polarization switching in lithium niobate

In the last several decades, ferroelectrics have attracted much attention as perspective materials for nonlinear optics and data storage devices. Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) has emerged as a powerful tool both for studies of domain structures with nanoscale spatial resolution and for writing the isolated nanodomains by local application of the electric field. Quantitative analysis of the observed behavior requires understanding the role of environmental factors on imaging and switching process. Here we study the influence of the relative humidity in the SPM chamber on tip-induced polarization switching. The observed effects are attributed to existence of a water meniscus between the tip and the sample surface in humid atmosphere. These results are important for a deeper understanding of complex investigations of ferroelectric materials and their applications, and suggest the necessity for fundamental studies of electrocapillary phenomena at the tip-surface junction and their interplay with bias-induced materials responses.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
  3. Ural Federal University, Russia
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 104; Journal Issue: 9
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Ferroelectrics; Scanning Probe Microscopy; Lithium niobate; Humidity