High-Resolution Studies of Domain Switching Behavior in Nanostructured Ferroelectric Polymers

Pankaj Sharma, Timothy J. Reece, Stephen Ducharme, Alexei Gruverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


We have demonstrated an effective electrical control of polarization in the individual crystalline nanomesas of the ferroelectric polymer, poly(vinylidene fluoride)-trifluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE) and its relation to the polymer structure. The mechanism of polarization reversal has been investigated via sub-10 nm real space imaging of domain pattern evolution under an applied electric field. The domain switching behavior revealed in PVDF-TrFE nanomesas is drastically different from that observed in inorganic solid-state crystalline ferroelectrics. The nanoscale features of the switching process include remote domain nucleation and spatially nonuniform wall velocity. Local switching spectroscopy and domain dynamics studies relate the observed switching features to a random-bond type disorder associated with defects in conformation and molecular packing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1970-1975
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • disorder
  • domain switching
  • ferroelectric polymer
  • piezoresponse force microscopy


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