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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.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37922 (United States)
  2. (Russian Federation)
  3. Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 46 pr. Nauki, 03028 Kiev (Ukraine)
  4. Ferroelectric Laboratory, Institute of Natural Sciences, Ural Federal University, 51 Lenin Ave., 620000 Ekaterinburg (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22283033
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 104; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; DOMAIN STRUCTURE; ELECTRIC CONTACTS; ELECTRIC FIELDS; FERROELECTRIC MATERIALS; HUMIDITY; MEMORY DEVICES; NANOSTRUCTURES; NIOBATES; NONLINEAR OPTICS; POLARIZATION; SEMICONDUCTOR JUNCTIONS; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; SURFACES