In situ synchrotron X-ray studies of PbTiO3 thin films



We have used in situ synchrotron x-ray scattering to investigate PbTiO3 films grown epitaxially on SrTiO3 (001) substrates. When the films are cooled below a thickness-dependent Curie temperature, the ferroelectric phase forms as 180° stripe domains with a well-defined period. With further cooling, the period changes fairly abruptly from a lower to a higher value, suggesting a transition between two stripe domain phases. The periods of both stripe phases are observed to depend on the square root of film thickness, in agreement with theory.