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Colm Durkan's
Scanning probe microscopy and Nanoelectronics group

   Nanoscience centre   

Scanning probe microscopy and nanoelectronics Group

Highlights and news  
Nanoscience Centre  


We are using a spin-off technique of atomic force microscopy (AFM), known as piezoresponse force microscopy, or PFM to investigate the distribution of ferroelectric and ferroelastic domains in piezoelectric thin films.  These films are of immense interest for data storage applications, given their ability to store information in a non-volatile manner.  Our research is focussed on the following points:

  • Development of the technique of PFM - pushing the limits of resolution to well below 10 nm.

  • Fundamental understanding of the phenomenon of ferroelectricity, via

      • Mapping of native domain structure

      • Determination of the smallest domain size

      • Investigations into both ferroelectric and ferroelastic domains

      • Manipulation of domain structure


Some examples of our work in this area are shown below:

topography1       pfm

More to follow very soon - watch this space...

Colm Durkan, University of Cambridge Engineering Department and Nanoscience centre, , 11 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FF, UK
Last updated April 2008.