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High Speed PFM of Ferroelectric Switching

This image sequence (left to right, top to bottom) is extracted from a movie of 244 consecutive high speed PFM images (4µm scans) depicting in situ ferroelectric memory switching. For the first half of the movie, the tip is biased with a positive DC offset throughout the measurements. By monitoring the phase of the piezoresponse, this allows direct nanoscale observation of ferroelectric poling, in this case from white to black contrast (a 180 degree polarization reversal). The second half of the movie is then obtained with a continuous negative DC bias, causing a black to white contrast shift. The switching mechanism is clearly nucleation dominated for this sample and experimental conditions. Each image is acquired in just 6 seconds. Imaged with the MFP-3D AFM.

The PZT film is courtesy of R. Ramesh, UC Berkeley, and the HSPFM
measurements were performed by N. Polomoff, Huey AFM Labs, UConn.

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