Ferromagnetic Materials

Microscopy Charges Ahead

by Argonne National Laboratory

Ferroelectric materials–substances in which there is a slight and reversible shift of positive and negative charges–have surfaces that are coated with electrical charges like roads covered in snow.  Accumulations can obscure lane markings, making everyone unsure which direction traffic ought to flow; in the case of ferroelectrics, these accumulations are other charges that “screen” the true polarization of different regions of the material.