Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 44, Issue 19, pp 5095–5101 | Cite as

Defect-induced asymmetry of local hysteresis loops on BiFeO3 surfaces

  • Peter MaksymovychEmail author
  • Nina Balke
  • Stephen Jesse
  • Mark Huijben
  • Ramamoorthy Ramesh
  • Arthur P. Baddorf
  • Sergei V. Kalinin


Local piezoresponse hysteresis loops were systematically studied on the surface of ferroelectric thin films of BiFeO3 grown on SrRuO3 and La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 electrodes and compared between ultrahigh vacuum and ambient environment. The loops on all the samples exhibited characteristic asymmetry manifested in the difference of the piezoresponse slope following local domain nucleation. Spatially resolved mapping has revealed that the asymmetry is strongly correlated with the random-field disorder inherent in the films and is not affected by the random-bond disorder component. The asymmetry thus originates from electrostatic disorder within the film, which allows using it as a unique signature of single defects or defect clusters. The electrostatic effects due to the measurement environment also contribute to the total asymmetry of the piezoresponse loop, albeit with a much smaller magnitude compared to local defects.


Hysteresis Loop BiFeO3 Bottom Electrode Ferroelectric Thin Film Ferroelectric Film 



The research of PM was performed as a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow and staff member at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The experiments were conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Maksymovych
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nina Balke
    • 1
  • Stephen Jesse
    • 1
  • Mark Huijben
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ramamoorthy Ramesh
    • 2
  • Arthur P. Baddorf
    • 1
  • Sergei V. Kalinin
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Nanophase Materials SciencesOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Materials Sciences and Engineering, and PhysicsUniversity of Califronia BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and Technology, MESA+ Institute for NanotechnologyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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