An analytical procedure has been developed according to
basic principles of electro-stimulated luminescence spectroscopy aimed
at quickly visualizing with high spatial resolution the domain texture
developed in tetragonal BaTiO3 (BT) materials.
In the first part of the paper, the relative intensity of the
cathodoluminescence (CL) emission has been systematically collected from
different crystallographic planes of BT single-crystal and modeled as a
function of anisotropic crystal properties. In this context, an
analytical expression has been put forward for quantitatively describing
the response function of the CL probe, which links the intensity
emission to refractive indexes and absorption coefficients pertaining to
different planes of the perovskitic crystal. In the second part of the
paper, the CL method is applied to visualize with nanometer-scale
resolution the domain texture developed in a polycrystalline BT sample.
This study demonstrates that CL spectroscopy is a valuable and efficient
tool for the assessment of domain orientation in ferroelectric
materials. The CL method possesses both wide-range screening capacity
and the scanning flexibility of conventional scanning electron
microscopy, coupled with a spatial resolution that is comparable with
that obtainable by scanning probe microscopy techniques.