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Special Issue "Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Andrei Kholkin

Head of Functional Imaging & Nanomaterials Laboratory, CICECO–Materials Institute of Aveiro & Physics Dept, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ferroics; scanning probe microscopy; piezoelectricity; self-assembly

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A large group of materials called ferroics exhibit spontaneous polarization, magnetization, or strain below a certain transition temperature, the Curie point. These materials, being multifunctional in nature, allow for a variety of coupling effects to exist, ranging from magneto capacitance to piezo magnetism. With the advent of novel techniques based on Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), it became possible to study ferroelectric, ferromagnetic, and ferroelastic phenomena at the nanoscale with a resolution of a few nanometers. SPM evolved from simple profilometry to a complex tool in order to track various ferroic phenomena (e.g., domain evolution) and it is now indispensable for studying emerging nanoscale materials, ranging from 2D graphene to ferroelectric thin films and nanowires. In this Special Issue, we solicit papers on various aspects of the application of SPM (such as Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, Magnetic Force Microscopy, Electric Force Micoscopy, Kelvin Probe Microscopy, etc.) to ferroic materials and composites on their bases. The coupling between polarization, magnetization, and strain at the nanoscale is an especially hot topic, and papers are welcome in this Special Issue. A priority will be given also to instrumentation methods, which are currently being improved to be used in order to increase both lateral resolution and sensitivity, as applied to ferroic materials.

Dr. Andrei Kholkin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Scanning Probe Microscopy
  • Ferroics
  • Domains

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Application of Magnetic Force Microscopy for Investigation of Epitaxial Ferro- and Antiferromagnetic Structures
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1156; doi:10.3390/ma10101156
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
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Abstract
Growing of epitaxial Fe50Mn50/Fe/Mo/R-sapphire films was performed with a new configuration of two in-plane easy axes of Fe(001)-layer magnetization in which application of annealing in a magnetic field forms an unidirectional anisotropy. The microstructures made from these films exhibited
[...] Read more.
Growing of epitaxial Fe50Mn50/Fe/Mo/R-sapphire films was performed with a new configuration of two in-plane easy axes of Fe(001)-layer magnetization in which application of annealing in a magnetic field forms an unidirectional anisotropy. The microstructures made from these films exhibited an exchange bias 25–35 G along an exchange field generated at antiferromagnet/ferromagnet (AFM/FM) interface. Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) experiments supported by micromagnetic calculations and magneto-resistive measurements allowed interpretation of the magnetic states of the Fe layer in these microstructures. The magnetic states of the iron layer are influenced more by crystallographic anisotropy of the Fe-layer than by unidirectional exchange anisotropy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Formation of Self-Organized Domain Structures at Non-Polar Cuts of Lithium Niobate as a Result of Local Switching by an SPM Tip
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1143; doi:10.3390/ma10101143
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
We have studied experimentally the interaction of isolated needle-like domains created in an array via local switching using a biased scanning probe microscope (SPM) tip and visualized via piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) at the non-polar cuts of MgO-doped lithium niobate (MgOLN) crystals. It
[...] Read more.
We have studied experimentally the interaction of isolated needle-like domains created in an array via local switching using a biased scanning probe microscope (SPM) tip and visualized via piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) at the non-polar cuts of MgO-doped lithium niobate (MgOLN) crystals. It has been found that the domain interaction leads to the intermittent quasiperiodic and chaotic behavior of the domain length in the array in a manner similar to that of polar cuts, but with greater spacing between the points of bias application and voltage amplitudes. It has also been found that the polarization reversal at the non-polar cuts and domain interaction significantly depend on humidity. The spatial distribution of the surface potential measured by Kelvin probe force microscopy in the vicinity of the charged domain walls revealed the decrease of the domain length as a result of the partial backswitching after pulse termination. The phase diagram of switching behavior as a function of tip voltage and spacing between the points of bias application has been plotted. The obtained results provide new insight into the problem of the domain interaction during forward growth and can provide a basis for useful application in nanodomain engineering and development of non-linear optical frequency converters, data storage, and computing devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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Open AccessArticle Giant Strain and Induced Ferroelectricity in Amorphous BaTiO3 Films under Poling
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1107; doi:10.3390/ma10091107
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
We report an effect of giant surface modification of a 5.6 nm thick BaTiO3 film grown on Si (100) substrate under poling by conductive tip of a scanning probe microscope (SPM). The surface can be locally elevated by about 9 nm under
[...] Read more.
We report an effect of giant surface modification of a 5.6 nm thick BaTiO3 film grown on Si (100) substrate under poling by conductive tip of a scanning probe microscope (SPM). The surface can be locally elevated by about 9 nm under −20 V applied during scanning, resulting in the maximum strain of 160%. The threshold voltage for the surface modification is about 12 V. The modified topography is stable enough with time and slowly decays after poling with the rate ~0.02 nm/min. Strong vertical piezoresponse after poling is observed, too. Combined measurements by SPM and piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) prove that the poled material develops high ferroelectric polarization that cannot be switched back even under an oppositely oriented electric field. The topography modification is hypothesized to be due to a strong Joule heating and concomitant interface reaction between underlying Si and BaTiO3. The top layer is supposed to become ferroelectric as a result of local crystallization of amorphous BaTiO3. This work opens up new possibilities to form nanoscale ferroelectric structures useful for various applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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Open AccessArticle Magnetoelectric Force Microscopy on Antiferromagnetic 180 Domains in Cr2O3
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1051; doi:10.3390/ma10091051
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Magnetoelectric force microscopy (MeFM) is characterized as methodical tool for the investigation of antiferromagnetic domain states, in particular of the 180 variety. As reference compound for this investigation we use Cr2O3. Access to the antiferromagnetic order is provided
[...] Read more.
Magnetoelectric force microscopy (MeFM) is characterized as methodical tool for the investigation of antiferromagnetic domain states, in particular of the 180 variety. As reference compound for this investigation we use Cr 2 O 3 . Access to the antiferromagnetic order is provided by the linear magnetoelectric effect. We resolve the opposite antiferromagnetic 180 domain states of Cr 2 O 3 and estimate the sensitivity of the MeFM approach, its inherent advantages in comparison to alternative techniques and its general feasibility for probing antiferromagnetic order. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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Open AccessArticle A Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Study of CaxBa1−xNb2O6 Single Crystals
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1032; doi:10.3390/ma10091032
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Polar structures of CaxBa1−xNb2O6 (CBN100x) single crystals were investigated using piezoresponse force microscopy. Increasing Ca content results in decreasing domain size and enhancement of the polar disorder. For the composition with x =
[...] Read more.
Polar structures of CaxBa1−xNb2O6 (CBN100x) single crystals were investigated using piezoresponse force microscopy. Increasing Ca content results in decreasing domain size and enhancement of the polar disorder. For the composition with x = 0.32 the characteristic domain size is similar to that reported for relaxor Sr0.61Ba0.39Nb2O6 (SBN61). However, decay of an artificial macroscopic domain in CBN32 takes place below the macroscopic transition temperature, contrary to SBN61, where random fields stabilize it above the transition temperature. We can conclude that CBN with 0.26 ≤ x ≤ 0.32 does not display classical relaxor behavior and might be considered as a disordered ferroelectric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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Open AccessArticle Magnetic Force Microscopy of Nanostructured Co/Pt Multilayer Films with Perpendicular Magnetization
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1034; doi:10.3390/ma10091034
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
We present the results of magnetic force microscopy investigations of domain structures in multilayer [Co (0.5 nm)/Pt (1 nm)]5 thin film structures (denoted hereafter as Co/Pt) modified by additional Co capping layers and by ion irradiation. It is demonstrated that a Co
[...] Read more.
We present the results of magnetic force microscopy investigations of domain structures in multilayer [Co (0.5 nm)/Pt (1 nm)]5 thin film structures (denoted hereafter as Co/Pt) modified by additional Co capping layers and by ion irradiation. It is demonstrated that a Co capping layer essentially changes the domain structure and decreases the threshold of magnetization reversal, due to the formation of noncollinear magnetization in Co/Pt. It is shown that local irradiation with a focused He+ ion beam enables the formation of regions with decreased easy-axis anisotropy (magnetic bubbles) that have the inverse magnetization direction in the demagnetized state of Co/Pt. The experimental results demonstrate that the magnetic bubbles can be switched using a probe of a magnetic force microscope. The possible application of these effects for the development of magnetic logic and data storage systems is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scanning Probe Microscopy of Ferroics)
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