By correlating room temperature conductive atomic force microscopy with low temperature electrostatic force microscopy images of the same sample region, we demonstrate that nanoscale electric conduction between a sharp tip and the surface of ferroelectric HoMnO3 is intrinsically modulated by the polarization of ferroelectric domains. Conductance spectra reveal that the electric conduction is described by polarization-induced Schottky-like rectification at low bias, but dominated by a space-charge limited conduction mechanism at high bias. Our observation demonstrates visualization of ferroelectric domain structure by electric conduction, which may be used for nondestructive readout of nanoscale ferroelectric memories and/or ferroelectric sensors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)