Nondestructive imaging and characterization of ferroelectric domains in periodically poled crystals

L. M. Eng, H. J. Güntherodt, G. Rosenman, A. Skliar, M. Oron, M. Katz, D. Eger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the nondestructive investigation and visualization of periodically poled domains in ferroelectric potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) crystals using polarization sensitive scanning force microscopy (SFM). Applying an alternating voltage technique to SFM allows ferroelectric domain wall resolution beyond 100 nm. Image contrast between KTP and Rb doped KTP, i.e., rubidium titanyl phosphate (RTP) regions arises from the differential piezoelectric response. We find the polarization vectors in both KTP and RTP to be aligned parallel to the negative z axes as deduced (a) when comparing our data with a ferroelectric reference sample, i.e., tri-glycine sulfate (b) from comparison of nanoscale hysteresis loops recorded on KTP and RTP, and (c) from direct domain switching in KTP applying very high electric fields between tip and counter electrode. The latter experiments show that nanoscale ferroelectric domains in KTP switch from the negative to the positive z-axes alignment for electric fields stronger than 750 V/cm. Nevertheless, spontaneous backswitching is observed after a couple of minutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5973-5977
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1998


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