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This paper reports on the conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) characterisation, with high lateral resolution, a commercially available positive temperature coefficient of resistance (ptcr) BaTiO 3-based thermistor. The sample has been investigated in the 25 to 250 C temperature range, to study the conduction mechanisms below and above the ferroelectric-paraelectric transition around the Curie temperature (T c~ 130 C). The combined effective thickness of the Schottky barrier regions associated with the grain-shell and grain boundary regions has been measured directly using C-AFM and is found to decrease from~ 547 (1) nm below T c to 468 (1) nm above T c. The C-AFM results demonstrate the ptcr-effect is associated with both the grain boundaries and outer grain-shells of the ceramics. This confirms conventional Impedance Spectroscopy measurements that have been used to propose that the ptcr …
IOP Publishing
Publication date: 
1 Jan 2010

Patrick Fiorenza, Raffaella Lo Nigro, Vito Raineri, Andrew G Mould, Derek C Sinclair

Biblio References: 
Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Pages: 012037
IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering