Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in Materials Letters 50:4 (September 2001), pp. 219–224; doi 10.1016/S0167-577X(01)00228-2 Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. Used by permission.


Current trend to miniaturization requires precise control of micro- and domain structure of ferroelectric materials at the nanoscale level. This is essential for future applications of ferroelectric thin films in non-volatile memories, microactuators and pyroelectric arrays. In this work, the seeding effect on the nanoscale properties of ferroelectric Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) thin films is investigated using scanning force microscopy (SFM) capable of simultaneously resolving topographic and domain features on the surface of the films. It is shown that the addition of 5 mol% seeds (fine PZT powder) into the sol–gel precursor solution completely modifies the film’s microstructure leading to the improved morphology of the grains, reduced roughness and smaller microporosity. At the same time, significant imprint and instability of the written domain pattern is reduced due to the smaller influence of the bottom electrode interface.

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