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Domain Diversity and Polarization Switching in Amino Acid β-Glycine

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg 620000, Russia
Department of Chemical Science, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
Department of Physics & CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(8), 1223;
Received: 15 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoscale Ferroelectrics and Their Applications)
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Piezoelectric materials based on lead zirconate titanate are widely used in sensors and actuators. However, their application is limited because of high processing temperature, brittleness, lack of conformal deposition and, more importantly, intrinsic incompatibility with biological environments. Recent studies on bioorganic piezoelectrics have demonstrated their potential in these applications, essentially due to using the same building blocks as those used by nature. In this work, we used piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) to study the domain structures and polarization reversal in the smallest amino acid glycine, which recently attracted a lot of attention due to its strong shear piezoelectric activity. In this uniaxial ferroelectric, a diverse domain structure that includes both 180° and charged domain walls was observed, as well as domain wall kinks related to peculiar growth and crystallographic structure of this material. Local polarization switching was studied by applying a bias voltage to the PFM tip, and the possibility to control the resulting domain structure was demonstrated. This study has shown that the as-grown domain structure and changes in the electric field in glycine are qualitatively similar to those found in the uniaxial inorganic ferroelectrics. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic ferroelectrics; amino acids; domain structure; nonpolar cut; local polarization reversal; PFM; glycine organic ferroelectrics; amino acids; domain structure; nonpolar cut; local polarization reversal; PFM; glycine

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Vasileva, D.; Vasilev, S.; Kholkin, A.L.; Shur, V.Y. Domain Diversity and Polarization Switching in Amino Acid β-Glycine. Materials 2019, 12, 1223.

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