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Nanoscale polarization switching in ferroelectric materials by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM) in weak and strong indentation limits is analyzed using exact solutions for electrostatic and coupled electroelastic fields below the tip. It is proposed that the tip-induced domain switching can be mapped on the Landau theory of phase transitions with the domain size as an order parameter. For a point charge interacting with a ferroelectric surface, switching of both first and second order isdoi:10.1063/1.1866483 fatcat:yiur3qk25zc4janob5lfbr35xa