Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy

 

Date of this Version

10-2009

Abstract

High-resolution studies of domain configurations in Langmuir–Blodgett films of ferroelectric polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene), P(VDF-TrFE), have been carried out by means of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM). Changes in film thickness and morphology cause significant variations in polarization patterns. In continuous films and nanomesas with relatively low thickness/grain aspect ratio (<1/10), the relationship between the average domain size and thickness follows the Kittel law. Nanomesas with high aspect ratio (>1/5) exhibit significant deviations from this law, suggesting additional surface-energy-related mechanisms affecting the domain patterns. Polarization reversal within a single crystallite has been demonstrated and local switching parameters (coercive voltage and remnant piezoresponse) have been measured by monitoring the local hysteresis loops. Reliable control of polarization at the sub-grain level demonstrates a possibility of studying the mechanism of the intrinsic switching behavior down to the molecular scale.

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