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Origin of surface potential change during ferroelectric switching in epitaxial PbTiO3 thin films studied by scanning force microscopy

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We investigated the surface potential of the ferroelectric domains of the epitaxial PbTiO3 (PTO) films using both Kelvin probe and piezoresponse force microscopy. The surface potential changes as a function of applied biases suggested that the amount and sign of surface potentials depend on the correlation between polarization and screen charges. It also suggested that the trapped negative charges exist on the as-deposited PTO surfaces. Injected charges and their resultant surface potentials are investigated by grounded tip scans. The results unveiled the origin of surface potential changes during ferroelectric switching in the epitaxial PTO films.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:94 ,  Issue: 3 )