Ferroelectric Domain Breakdown

Michel Molotskii, Alex Agronin, Pavel Urenski, Maria Shvebelman, Gil Rosenman, Yossi Rosenwaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We observe a stringlike domain penetration from a ferroelectric surface deep into the crystal bulk induced by a high voltage atomic force microscope tip. The domains, which resemble channels of an electrical breakdown, nucleate under an electric field of around [Formula presented] at the ferroelectric surface, and grow throughout the crystal bulk where the external electric field is practically zero. A theory explaining the shape of the formed domains is presented. It shows that the driving force for the domain breakdown is the decrease of the total free energy of the system with increasing domain length.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2003


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