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A piezoresponse technique based on scanning force microscopy (SFM) has been used for studying domain structure in ferroelectric thin films. Studies were performed on Pb(Zrx,Ti1-x)O3(PZT) thin films produced by a sol–gel method. The piezoresponse images of the PZT films were taken before and after inducing polarization in the films by applying a direct current voltage between the bottom electrode and the SFM tip. Polarization induced patterns were written with 20 V pulses and subsequently imaged by the SFM piezoresponse technique. The effect of the film structure on the imaging resolution of domains is discussed.