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.
- Domain switching
- Ferroelectric domains
- Piezoresponse force microscopy