Using a combination of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and phase-field modeling, we demonstrate ubiquitous formation of center-type and possible ferroelectric closure domain arrangements during polarization switching near the ferroelastic domain walls in (100) oriented rhombohedral BiFeO3. The formation of these topological defects is determined from the vertical and lateral PFM data and confirmed from the reversible changes in surface topography. These observations provide insight into the mechanisms of tip-induced ferroelastic domain control and suggest that formation of topological defect states under the action of local defect- and tip-induced fields is much more common than previously believed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)