An international research team led by Nagoya University in Japan has devised a new technique for controlling the domain structure of ferroelectric materials, which could expedite the development of future electronic and electromechanical devices.
"We grew lead zirconate titanate films on different substrate types to induce different kinds of physical strain, and then selectively etched parts of the films to create nanorods," says Nagoya's Tomoaki Yamada. "The domain structure of the nanorods was almost completely flipped compared with [that of] the thin film."
Sections of the film were deliberately extracted to leave freestanding rods on the substrates, and the researchers employed synchrotron x-ray radiation to explore the domain structure of individual rods. The contact area of the rods with the substrate exhibited significant shrinkage and the domain properties were shaped more by the surrounding environment.
The researchers say coating the rods with metal could filter out the effects of the air and help recover the original domain structure, as determined by the substrate.
From Nagoya University (Japan)
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