Abstract : Ferroelectric materials are characterized by their spontaneous polarization, whose direction can be reversed by the application of a suitable electric field. Using domains, i.e. regions of uniform polarization orientation, as information bits, ferroelectrics opens the pathway towards ultrahigh storage densities (>10 Tbit/in²). In this respect, Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM), a technique derived from Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), was used to manipulate and detect ferroelectric domains on the nanometer scale. Our study was focused on the domains formation mechanism in the local electric field of a nanosized tip. Within an approach complementary to the thermodynamic one, we underlined the kinetics of domains growth in single-crystal LiTaO3 thin films, and the role of humidity in a possible surface conduction. In parallel, the LiTaO3 thin films were used to better understand the PFM response, in particular the relation between the measured signal and the geometry of the domain below the tip. This way, PFM and ferroelectrics domains alternately appeared as object of study and characterization tool.