The surface potential distribution following polarization reversal by scanning probe microscopy is examined in order to determine the mechanism of anti-parallel polarization reversal and ring-shaped domain formation in single-crystal lithium tantalate. Lithium vacancy lattice defects are identified as charge-trapping sites, with the resultant surface potential distribution governing the formation of ring-shaped nano-domains. The behavior of this charge injection is shown to be dependent on atmospheric humidity.
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Katoh, M., Cho, Y. Surface Potential Investigation on Nano Domain Formation in Lithium Tantalate Single Crystal. MRS Online Proceedings Library 902, 1050 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-0902-T10-50