Probing Antiferroelectric-Ferroelectric Phase Transitions in PbZrO3 Capacitors by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy
H. Lu, S. Glinsek, P. Buragohain, E. Defay, J. Iñiguez, and A. Gruverman
Advanced Functional Materials, doi:10.1002/adfm.202003622, 2020
Functional characterization of antiferroelectric (AFE) materials typically involves macroscopic testing of their nonlocal integrated information on their dielectric properties, such as polarization hysteresis loops, field-dependent strain, and capacitance while the local AFE properties have been rarely addressed. Here, a new protocol is demonstrated for local probing of the antiferroelectric/ferroelectric (AFE/FE) phase transition in PbZrO3 capacitors by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM). PFM spectroscopy of the local AFE/FE phase transition parameters is performed and their spatial variability via two-dimensional mapping is investigated. It is shown that AFE hysteresis loops recorded by PFM in the bias-on regime exhibit four characteristic amplitude peaks. Within the framework of Landau theory, these features are attributed to a considerable increase in the electromechanical strain response due to the dielectric constant divergence during AFE/FE phase transitions. The proposed approach can be used to differentiate between the antiferroelectric and nonpolar dielectric phases in functional devices using the electrically induced polarization.