Evolution of poled state in P(VDF-TrFE)/(Pb,Ba)(Zr,Ti)O3 composites probed by temperature dependent Piezoresponse and Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy

Polarized states of polymer/inorganic inclusion P(VDF-TrFE)-(Pb,Ba)(Zr,Ti)O3 composites are studied at the nanoscale using both piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM). It has been shown that inorganic inclusions can be visualized using KPFM due to a discontinuity of the surface potential and polarization at the interface between the inclusions and the polymer matrix. The temperature evolution of the PFM and KPFM signal profiles is investigated. Softening of the polymer matrix on approaching the Curie temperature limits application of the contact PFM method. However non-contact KPFM can be used to probe evolution of the polarization at the phase transition. Mechanisms of the KPFM contrast formation are discussed.


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