Ferroelectric domain characterisation and manipulation: A challenge for scanning probe microscopy

L. M. Eng, M. Bammerlin, Ch Loppacher, M. Guggisberg, R. Bennewitz, R. Lüthi, E. Meyer, Thomas R Huser, H. Heinzelmann, H. J. Güntherodt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

62 Scopus citations


Domain writing and reading on the nanometer scale is addressed with scanning force microscopy (SFM) Compared to other scanning probe methods, SFM provides broad possibilities for the on-line data controlling, i.e. three-dimensional mapping of polarisation distribution, differentiation between polarisation and topography, nanoscale domain switching of domains with a 60 nm diameter, recording of nanoscale hysteresis loops, phase transition mapping, domain wall imaging with 9 nm resolution, atomic resolution of ferroelectric surfaces, etc. All these issues are reported in this paper. The challenging result of such a concerted investigation is the possibility of using SFM for nanoscale domain writing and reading with nanometer resolution. Fig. 1 illustrates such an example where line shaped c - domains are purposely written into a ferroelectric Barium-Titanate single crystal with a 400 nm line-width. With this figure we highly appreciate and honour the work of Bob Newnham passing our best nano-wishes for his future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFerroelectrics
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-dimensional polarisation mapping
  • Atomic resolution
  • Domain switching
  • Ferroelectric domains and domain walls
  • Nanoscale hysteresis
  • Scanning probe microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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