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VOLUME 116 | ISSUE 4 | PAGE 249
Ferroelectric domain reversal: The role of domain wall conduction1)
Ferroelectric domain reversal is a vast research area relevant to the fundamental science and applications as well as to macro and nano scales. An instantaneous compensation of typically huge depolarizing electric fields is a key element here. On the other hand, the domain wall (DW) conduction is now regarded as a general ferroelectric phenomenon. Being often separated by big surface energy barriers in macroscopic experiments, the DW conduction becomes easily available under the conditions of atomic-force microscopy (AFM). We claim that the DW conduction has to be regarded as a crucial and general ingredient of the domain reversal processes. Its importance is in providing an automatic compensation of the depolarizing electric fields. The presence of DW conduction essentially modifies the basics of domain reversal processes, including the relations for domain nucleus energies, the domain grows velocities, and the domain shapes. Concerning AFM applications, domain reversal theories have to include injection models from conductive tip electrodes. Below we provide specific primary results relevant to the basics of DW conduction mediated ferroelectric domain reversal.