Abstract

Illumination of a lithium niobate or lithium tantalate crystal along the crystallographic c axis with coherent light while simultaneously applying an external electrical field through transparent electrodes allows real-time, in situ, nondestructive monitoring of ferroelectric domain patterns. Imaging of the optical near-field through a lens directly visualizes the domain walls, whereas the far-field yields averaged information about the spatial orientation of the domain boundaries.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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