Abstract: Domain structures in ferroelectrics have a decisive effect on their fundamental physical properties and functionality. A possible way of the formation of domain configurations with desired characteristics is the controlled quenching from a high-temperature paraelectric phase to a low-temperature ferroelectric one. This is a stochastic process which significantly depends on initial conditions and even very weak external influences (thermal, electrical, mechanical) due to the high nonequilibrium of the quenched system. Understanding the mechanisms of domain self-assembly opens up the possibility of directed use of the quenching to control domain structure.
In my talk, I will present a stochastic model allowing to describe and predict the process of domain structure formation based on the Landau-Ginsburg-Devonshire theory. I will show how it is used to describe the known experiments on observation the kinetics of domain formation in TGS crystal. Finally, I will outline the challenges we will face on the way to describe other ferroelectric materials.