Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 112903 (2010). Copyright © 2010 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) has been applied to investigate the switching kinetics in microscale epitaxial Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 capacitors. It is shown that transition from low to high field range brings about a qualitative change in domain growth kinetics, namely, laterally isotropic growth in the high fields as opposed to highly anisotropic growth in the low fields. It is suggested that anisotropy of domain growth can be attributed to orientational variations in the activation energy due to film microstructure. Fitting the switching kinetics using the Kolmogorov–Avrami–Ishibashi model shows excellent agreement with the PFM experimental data and yields the integer values of domain dimensionality.

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