Ekta Singh 1 and Lukas M. Eng 1,2
1 Institute of Applied Physics, TU Dresden, Nöthnitzerstr. 61, 01187 Dresden, Germany
2 ct.qmat: Würzburg-Dresden Cluster of Excellence – EXC 2147, TU Dresden, Germany
Probing intriguing sample properties by applying external stimuli in-situ is of uttermost benefit to both fundamental research and applied sciences. Magnetic and electrical fields certainly count to the two most-spread vector fields that have been widely used into this, for probing material’s phase transitions or hysteretic behavior. What is less know is the application of mechanical stress fields, i.e. in-situ straining the sample both tensile and compressively.
Here, we report on the combination of an uniaxial stress cell within the NX-10 scanning-force-microscope from ParkSystems, with the goal to inspect the nanoscale properties of 2-dimensional materials (2DMs) or ferroelectric domains and domain walls (DWs) under uniaxial mechanical stimulus. We will show how to integrate that system into a COVID-19-friendly, hence full remotely-controlled user platform. Moreover, examples of the strain impact on a variety of samples will be presented, such as DW conductivity in bulk LiNbO3 as measured by cAFM, for BiFeO3 ferroelectric thin-films investigated by PFM, and properties of MoS2 as the prototype 2DM. All these experiments are backed up with complementary techniques such as µ-Raman spectroscopy or macroscopic transport measurements.