skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Domain pinning near a single-grain boundary in tetragonal and rhombohedral lead zirconate titanate films

The interaction of grain boundaries with ferroelectric domain walls strongly influences the extrinsic contribution to piezoelectric activity in Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT), ubiquitous in modern transducers and actuators. However, the fundamental understanding of these phenomena has been limited by complex mechanisms originating from the interplay of atomic-level domain wall pinning, collective domain wall dynamics, and emergent mesoscopic behavior. This contribution utilizes engineered grain boundaries created by depositing epitaxial PZT films with various Zr:Ti ratio onto 24º SrTiO3 tilt bicrystals. The nonlinear piezoelectric response and surface domain structure across the boundary are investigated using piezoresponse force microscopy whilst cross section domain structure is studied using transmission electron microscopy. The grain boundary reduces domain wall motion over a width of 800±70 nm for PZT 45:55 and 450±30 nm for PZT 52:48. Phase field modeling provides an understanding of the elastic and electric fields associated with the grain boundary and local domain configurations. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that complex mesoscopic behaviors can be explored to complement atomic-level pictures of the material system.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept of Materials Science and Engineering and Materials Research Inst.
  2. Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; FG02-07ER46417; OCI-0821527; CNMS2011-022; EP/I038934/1; DMR-1005771
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 1098-0121
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE PbZr1−x,TixO3; PZT; grain boundaries; mesoscopic behavior