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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2016

Low energy electron imaging of domains and domain walls in magnesium-doped lithium niobate

Abstract

The understanding of domain structures, specifically domain walls, currently attracts a significant attention in the field of (multi)-ferroic materials. In this article, we analyze contrast formation in full field electron microscopy applied to domains and domain walls in the uniaxial ferroelectric lithium niobate, which presents a large 3.8 eV band gap and for which conductive domain walls have been reported. We show that the transition from Mirror Electron Microscopy (MEM – electrons reflected) to Low Energy Electron Microscopy (LEEM – electrons backscattered) gives rise to a robust contrast between domains with upwards (Pup) and downwards (Pdown) polarization, and provides a measure of the difference in surface potential between the domains. We demonstrate that out-of-focus conditions of imaging produce contrast inversion, due to image distortion induced by charged surfaces, and also carry information on the polarization direction in the domains. Finally, we show that the intensity profile at domain walls provides experimental evidence for a local stray, lateral electric field.

Dates and versions

cea-01481473 , version 1 (02-03-2017)

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G. F. Nataf, P. Grysan, M. Guennou, J. Kreisel, D. Martinotti, et al.. Low energy electron imaging of domains and domain walls in magnesium-doped lithium niobate. Scientific Reports, 2016, 6, ⟨10.1038/srep33098⟩. ⟨cea-01481473⟩
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