Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 93, 262906 (2008). Copyright © 2008 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


Observation of abnormal (against the applied electric field) domain switching in Pb(ZrxTi1−x)O3 films by piezoresponse force microscopy is reported. In some grains polarization orients opposite to the external field in the presence of the applied field, while the rest of the film volume switches in a normal way. This effect is observed in thin film capacitors which excludes charge injection effect and spontaneous backswitching due the built-in field, which is the possible reason for this behavior. The abnormal switching behavior is attributed to the charge compensation effect at the boundaries of the grains with rhombohedral structure.

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