Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 44, Issue 19, pp 5205–5213 | Cite as

Ferroelectricity in chemical nanostructures: proximal probe characterization and the surface chemical environment

  • Stephen S. Nonnenmann
  • Jonathan E. SpanierEmail author


Renewed interest in the evolution of the ferroelectric phase transition temperature TC and the character of ordering of ferroelectric polarizations with finite size and shape is driven in part by several recent developments. An expanding array of pathways for producing nano-structured ferroelectric oxides with control of size, shape, and composition has emerged. Experimental characterization methods originally developed for thin films have been extended to ensemble-free investigations of functional properties of individual nanostructures. Progress in understanding the origin and nature of ferroelectric stability in ultra-thin films and nanostructures is reviewed. Specifically, we discuss evidence for a new surface adsorbate-driven mechanism for stabilizing ferroelectricity in nanostructures owing to a combination of recent proximal probe analysis and model calculation results, along with a new experimental paradigm for investigating and exploiting these effects and effects of finite curvature.


BaTiO3 Ferroelectric Polarization Converge Beam Electron Diffraction Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Electrostatic Force Microscopy 



The authors thank H. Park, J. J. Urban, W. S. Yun, L. Ouyang, A. M. Rappe, A. Kolpak and I. Grinberg, E. M. Gallo, O. D. Leaffer, M. T. Coster, R. S. Joseph, C. L. Johnson, and G. R. Soja for collaborative contributions to this study, and S. P. Alpay, A. Morozovska, T. McGuckin and S. L. Moskow for helpful additional technical discussions and support. The authors acknowledge support for this study from the Materials Sciences Division of the U. S. Army Research Office under Award No. W911NF-08-1-0067.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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