Next Article in Journal
Catalytic CVD Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes: Towards High Yield and Low Temperature Growth
Next Article in Special Issue
Recent Progress of Ferroelectric-Gate Field-Effect Transistors and Applications to Nonvolatile Logic and FeNAND Flash Memory
Previous Article in Journal
Toxicity of Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticles: Recent Insights from in vitro Studies
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Electronic Structure and Secondary Pyroelectric Properties of Lithium Tetraborate
Materials 2010, 3(11), 4860-4870; doi:10.3390/ma3114860

Mapping Disorder in Polycrystalline Relaxors: A Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Approach

1,* , 1
1 Department of Ceramics and Glass Engineering & CICECO, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering & TEMA, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal 3 Institute of Physics of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Kengaraha st., LV-1063 Riga, Latvia 4 Laboratory Structures, Propriétés et Modélisation des Solides, Ecole Centrale Paris, CNRS, UMR 8580, Grande Voie des Vignes, F-92295 Chatenay-Malabry Cedex, France 5 The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37922, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2010 / Accepted: 22 October 2010 / Published: 28 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ferroelectric & Piezoelectric Materials)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [581 KB, uploaded 28 October 2010]   |   Browse Figures


Relaxors constitute a large class of ferroelectrics where disorder is introduced by doping with ions of different size and valence, in order to maximize their useful properties in a broad temperature range. Polarization disorder in relaxors is typically studied by dielectric and scattering techniques that do not allow direct mapping of relaxor parameters, such as correlation length or width of the relaxation time spectrum. In this paper, we introduce a novel method based on measurements of local vibrations by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM) that detects nanoscale polarization on the relaxor surface. Random polarization patterns are then analyzed via local Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and the FFT PFM parameters, such as amplitude, correlation radius and width of the spectrum of spatial correlations, are mapped along with the conventional topography. The results are tested with transparent (Pb, La) (Zr, Ti)O3 ceramics where local disorder is due to doping with La3+. The conclusions are made about the distribution of the defects responsible for relaxor behavior and the role of the grain boundaries in the macroscopic response.
Keywords: PLZT; relaxors; Piezoresponse Force Microscopy; domains; grains PLZT; relaxors; Piezoresponse Force Microscopy; domains; grains
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Kholkin, A.L.; Kiselev, D.A.; Bdikin, I.K.; Sternberg, A.; Dkhil, B.; Jesse, S.; Ovchinnikov, O.; Kalinin, S.V. Mapping Disorder in Polycrystalline Relaxors: A Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Approach. Materials 2010, 3, 4860-4870.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Materials EISSN 1996-1944 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert