Using a two-dimensional Ginzburg-Landau model and the finite-element computational method, we have calculated stable domain configurations resulting from a second-order ferroelectric phase transition for a finite-sized system. The boundary conditions applied here correspond to fully charge compensated situations, either by surface electrodes or by the injection of charges (or defects) near the sample surface. The domain wall thickness of a finite system without surface electrodes was found to become thinner as it approaches sample surfaces. This is distinctively different from that of an infinite system for which a planar wall assumption can be used. The orientation of the macroscopic polarization of a finite system without surface electrodes was found to be determined by its aspect ratio. A size effect was observed when all the dimensions were reduced simultaneously. The relaxation process in the formation of domains and the switching process have also been simulated for charge neutral boundary conditions using a time dependent Ginzburg-Landau model. The simulation results verified that the surfaces are the favored nucleation sites for domain switching.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)