Dynamics of Ferroelectric Switching

Principal investigator: K.B. Chong
Co-investigator(s): G. Viola and Mike REECE

P-E loops for soft PZT.Ferroelectric materials are used in ceramic, thin film and single crystal form for actuator, sensor and memory applications. Their properties are intrinsically dependent on polarisation switching by the movement of ferroelectric domain walls. Despite the importance of ferroelectric switching, there is no complete theory to describe it, and the mechanisms involved in switching are still unknown. In this work we are developing a rigorous formulism of the theory of rates of reaction to describe ferroelectric switching. The proposed research provides a new approach to modelling ferroelectric switching that will, importantly, provide a physical insight into the processes involved. This will guide the development of improved ferroelectric materials and devices. The results of this work can potentially be applied in other fields, including ferroelectric polymers for polymer electronics and ferroelastic minerals in geology.

Activation Volume estimated using Rate Theory.