Coplanar switching of polarization in thin films of vinylidene fluoride oligomers

Pankaj Sharma, Alexandra Fursina, Shashi Poddar, Stephen Ducharme, Alexei Gruverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Switching characteristics of vinylidene fluoride oligomer thin films with molecular chains aligned normal to the substrate and exhibiting a preferential in-plane polarization have been investigated using coplanar geometry of inter-digital electrodes via high-resolution piezoresponse force microscopy. It has been shown that in-plane switching proceeds via non-180° rotation of dipoles mediated by non-stochastic nucleation, expansion, and coalescence of domains. As-grown multidomain configuration is found to be strongly pinned aided by charged domain walls, and the electrically induced (in-plane) mono-domain states relax to the as-grown state. The observed coercive field (approximately 0.6 MV/m) is two to three orders of magnitude smaller than that for the oligomer films with out-of-plane polarization. It is suggested that the low steric hindrance to the rotation of molecular dipoles gives rise to the observed low coercive field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182903
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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