Global excitation and local probing of ferroelectric domains

Dong Zhao (赵冬), Thomas Lenz, Ilias Katsouras, Paul W.M. Blom, Dago M. de Leeuw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this work, the macroscopic polarization of a ferroelectric capacitor is correlated with the local domain morphology. To this end, a ferroelectric capacitor of the random copolymer poly(vinylidenefluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] is poled to a set polarization state in a Sawyer-Tower setup. After chemically removing the top electrode, the exposed ferroelectric is locally probed with piezoresponse force microscopy. The domains without the top electrode are thermodynamically stable for weeks in ambient environment, as proven by comparing the remanent polarization measured before etching away and after re-depositing the top electrode. Out-of-plane PFM phase images show a random distribution of domains with up and down polarity. We unambiguously demonstrate a linear correlation between the mean PFM phase and the macroscopic polarization. As a demonstration of the insights that the global excitation and local probing method can provide, we show how thermal and electrical depoling can result in identical macroscopic polarization yet completely different domain morphologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-193
Number of pages5
JournalOrganic Electronics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Domain switching
  • Ferroelectric domains
  • P(VDF-TrFE)
  • PFM
  • Piezoresponse force microscopy
  • Retention


Dive into the research topics of 'Global excitation and local probing of ferroelectric domains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this