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Published October 15, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Nanoindentation of the a and c domains in a tetragonal BaTiO3 single crystal


Nanoindentation in conjunction with piezoresponse force microscopy was used to study domain switching and to measure the mechanical properties of individual ferroelectric domains in a tetragonal BaTiO3 single crystal. It was found that nanoindentation has induced local domain switching; the a and c domains of BaTiO3 have different elastic moduli but similar hardness. Nanoindentation modulus mapping on the a and c domains further confirmed such difference in elasticity. Finite element modeling was used to simulate the von Mises stress and plastic strain profiles of the indentations on both a and c domains, which introduces a much higher stress level than the critical value for domain nucleation.

Additional Information

© 2007 American Institute of Physics. (Received 1 July 2007; accepted 17 August 2007; published online 17 October 2007) This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. EPS-0296165) and the University of South Carolina NanoCenter.

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