CAREER: Real Time Studies of Domain Dynamics in Ferroelectrics for Photonic Applications

Project: Research project

Project Details


This CAREER project focuses on ferroelectric lithium niobate (LiNbO3 ) and lithium tantalate (LiTaO3 ) relevant to integrated and nonlinear optics. The approach is to directly probe the structure and dynamics of ferroelectric domains in LiNbO3 and LiTaO3 by real-time, in-situ, and nondestructive probes. The proposed studies seek new information and understanding in the areas of (1) Real-time tracking of the motion of individual domain walls under electric fields in single crystals on nano-to-millisecond time scales by Electro-Optic Imaging Microscopy. (2) In-situ probing of the evolution of domain statistics in thin films with electric field and temperature by Second harmonic Generation measurements. (3) Probing domain wall pinning, bending and depinning processes on submicroscopic length scales using Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM) and Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM). Fundamental insights into the classical problems of domain wall structure, wall mobilities, merger dynamics, and pinning-depinning interactions between a domain wall and lattice defects are sought, and will be utilized to achieve more effective techniques to shape and control ferroelectric domains.


The project addresses fundamental research issues in a topical area of materials science having high technological relevance. The research will contribute basic materials science, physics, and engineering knowledge at a fundamental level to important aspects of electronic/photonic materials and advanced devices/circuits. The scope of the project will expose students to challenges in materials synthesis, processing, and characterization. An important feature of the project is the strong emphasis on education, and on the integration of research and education.


Effective start/end date2/1/001/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $303,213.00


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