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Ferroelectric domains in coarse-grained lead zirconate titanate ceramics characterized by scanning force microscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2011

J. Muñoz-Saldaña
Advanced Ceramics Group, Technical University Hamburg-Harburg, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany
M. J. Hoffmann
Institute of Ceramics in Mechanical Engineering, University of Karlsruhe, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
G. A. Schneider
Advanced Ceramics Group, Technical University Hamburg-Harburg, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany
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Ferroelectric domain configurations in silver- and lanthanum-doped lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics were characterized by scanning force microscopy using contact as well as piezoelectric response force [i.e., piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM)] modes. Coarse crystallites of hard and soft PZT ceramics (12 μm in Ag-PZT and 30 μm in La-PZT average grain size, respectively) with surface oriented in the {001} planes were chosen to characterize the domain configuration. Results show the conventional right-angled domain structures, which correspond to the {110} twin-related 90° and 180° domains of homogeneous width from 50 to 150 nm. The ability of PFM to image the orientation of pure in-plane arrays of domains (containing 90°-aa- and 180°-aa-types of domain boundaries) is highlighted, and a more detailed notation for in-plane domains is proposed. In addition to such periodical domain arrays, other ordered domains were found, having a misfit of 26° with respect to the{110} domain walls and the {100} surface. This array of domain walls could not be predicted with a geometrical analysis of the intersection of domain walls at the surface according to the conventional spatial array of {110} crystallographic planes. It could be explained only with {210} planes being the domain walls. The reason for this unconventional domain configuration is explained with the clamped conditions of the investigated crystallites in the polycrystalline material.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2003

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