Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

August 2004


Published in Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 85, No. 5, 2 August 2004. Copyright © 2004 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


Local switching properties in SrBi2Ta2O9 thin films have been studied by spatially resolved piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and spectroscopy. Variations in PFM contrast of individual grains due to their random crystallographic orientation are consistent with the grain switching behavior examined via vertical and lateral hysteresis loops. Theoretical description of vertical hysteresis loop shape obtained in the point-charge approximation is shown to be in good agreement with the experimental data. Dependence of the hysteresis loop parameters on the grain crystallographic orientation is analyzed. It has been found that grain deviation from the ideal (010) orientation when the polar axis is normal to the film plane results in the decrease of the PFM signal and increase of the coercive voltage in agreement with theoretical predictions.

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