In situ TEM measurement of electrical properties of individual BaTiO3 nanocubes

Applied Physics Letters, Volume 118, Issue 19, May 2021. We report on the measurement of the electrical properties of individual pristine and doped BaTiO3 nanocubes by using in situ transmission electron microscopy with a two-electrode configuration. The dimensions of the nanocubes tested are between 10 and 20 nm, which rendered their in situ electrical characterization challenging. We characterized 4%Cr and 5%La (atomic percentage) doped BaTiO3 nanocubes and compared them with the properties of pristine BaTiO3 nanocubes synthesized by the same solvothermal method. We found that the resistance of all three types of nanocubes when displayed in log-scale shows a nearly linear dependence on the applied electric field (R2 ≥ 0.95) over a wide range of electric fields (50–900 kV/cm). Compared with pristine BaTiO3 nanocubes, the resistance of both 4%Cr and 5%La doped nanocubes showed reduced variation rates with respect to the electric field, with 5%La doping, demonstrating a better reduction in the variation rate. By developing techniques capable of evaluating the properties of individual BaTiO3 nanocubes, we expect that our work to open the door to the use of BaTiO3 nanomaterials in the design of future multilayer ceramic capacitors with improved volumetric efficiency and ferroelectrics-enabled nanodevices with advanced functionality.