Date of this Version
Application of very high voltage to atomic force microscope tip leads to the growth of narrow, string-like domains in some ferroelectrics, a phenomenon that was named “ferroelectric domain breakdown.” In this work the dynamics of domain breakdown have been studied experimentally and theoretically in stoichiometric lithium niobate (LN). The theory has been found to be in a good agreement with the measured domain radius temporal dependence. Dynamics of domain growth has also been studied in ultrathin LN crystals, where the domain breakdown phenomenon does not take place. It is also shown that domain formation processes occurring in bulk and ultrathin crystals are very different, and this is ascribed to the observed difference in depolarization energy dependence on the domain length.