The electromechanical response of a 3 nm thick amorphous LaAlO3 layer obtained by molecular beam epitaxy has been studied using scanning probe microscopies. Although this kind of sample is not ferroelectric due to its amorphous nature, the resulting images are identical to what is generally obtained on truly ferroelectric samples probed by piezoresponse force microscopy: domains of apparently opposite polarisation are detected, and perfect, square shaped hysteresis loops are recorded. Moreover, written patterns are stable within 72 h. We discuss in the general case the possible origins of this behaviour in terms of charge injection, ionic conduction and motion of oxygen vacancies. In the case presented in this paper, since the writing process has been conducted with applied voltages lower than the injection threshold measured by conductive atomic force Microscopy, allowing to withdraw the hypothesis of charge injection in the sample, we propose that a bistable distribution of oxygen vacancies is responsible for this contrast.

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