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Nanoscale piezoresponse studies of ferroelectric domains in epitaxial BiFeO3 nanostructures

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8 Author(s)
Hong, Seungbum ; Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Lemont, Illinois 60439, USA ; Klug, Jeffrey A. ; Park, Moonkyu ; Imre, Alexandra
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We report the dependence of the ferroelectric domain configuration and switching behavior on the shape (square versus round) of epitaxial BiFeO3 (BFO) nanostructures. We fabricated (001) oriented BFO(120 nm)/SrRuO3(SRO,125 nm) film layers on (001) SrTiO3 single crystals by rf magnetron sputter deposition, and patterned them to square (500×500 nm2) and round (502 nm in diameter) shaped nanostructures by focused ion-beam lithography. The surface morphology and the crystalline structure of the nanostructures were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, respectively, while the domain configuration was investigated using piezoelectric force microscopy. We found that the square-shaped nanostructures exhibit a single variant domain configuration aligned along the [111] direction, whereas the round-shaped nanostructures exhibit seven variants of domain configuration along the [111], [111], [111], [111], [111], [111], and [111] directions. Moreover, local d33 piezoelectric coefficient measurements showed hysteresis loops with a strong displacement in the voltage axis (strong imprint) for the square-shaped nanostructures, while the round-shaped ones exhibited more symmetric loops. These findings have critical implications for the development of nanocapacitors for gigabyte to terabyte nonvolatile - ferroelectric memories.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:105 ,  Issue: 6 )