About Zirconates

Strontium Zirconate

Zirconates are compounds which contain zirconium oxyanions. They are most commonly used in the production of advanced ceramic materials. These materials frequently exhibit dielectric and ferroelectric properties that make them useful in electronics applications, and additionally can be used as components of high-temperature solid electrolytes in fuel cells.

One of the most common and useful zirconate ceramics is lead zirconate titanate (PZT). It is a ceramic perovskite material similar to barium strontium titanate (BST) and shows a marked piezoelectric effect—it produces an electrical charge when mechanically compressed, a phenomenon exploited in the production of sophisticated electronic sensors. The piezoelectric effect also works in the opposite direction—PZT can be induced to physically change shape when an external electric field is applied, making it very valuable in actuator applications.

PZT is also pyroelectric, meaning that it develops a voltage difference across two of its faces when it experiences a temperature change, making it useful as a heat detecting sensor. It is also ferroelectric, which means it exhibits a spontaneous electric polarization which can be reversed in the presence of an electric field. These properties make PZT-based compounds one of the most prominent and useful electroceramics.

Commercially, PZT is rarely used in its pure form; rather, it is typically doped with either acceptor dopants or donor dopants. In general, acceptor doping creates hard PZT while donor doping creates soft PZT, which generally differ in their piezoelectric constants. Soft PZT has a higher piezoelectric constant, but larger losses in the material due to internal friction. In hard PZT, domain wall motion is pinned by the impurities, decreasing losses in the material but at the expense of a reduced piezoelectric constant.

PZT-based compounds are used in the manufacture of items such as ultrasound transducers, STM/AFM actuators, high-value ceramic capacitors, FRAM chips, uncooled staring array infrared imaging sensors for thermographic cameras, and other types of sensors. PZT is also used in the manufacture of ceramic resonators for reference timing in electronic circuitry.

Recent Research & Development for Zirconates

Spray-Dried Sodium Zirconate: A Rapid Absorption Powder for CO2 Capture with Enhanced Cyclic Stability., Bamiduro, Faith, Ji Guozhao, Brown Andy P., Dupont Valerie A., Zhao Ming, and Milne Steven J. , ChemSusChem, 2017 May 09, Volume 10, Issue 9, p.2059-2067, (2017)

Perovskite-type titanate zirconate as photocatalyst for textile wastewater treatment., Ferrari-Lima, A M., Ueda A C., Bergamo E A., Marques R G., Ferri E A. V., Pinto C S., Pereira C A. A., Yassue-Cordeiro P H., and Souza R P. , Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2017 May, Volume 24, Issue 14, p.12529-12537, (2017)

Large Electrocaloric Effect in Relaxor Ferroelectric and Antiferroelectric Lanthanum Doped Lead Zirconate Titanate Ceramics., Lu, Biao, Li Peilian, Tang Zhenhua, Yao Yingbang, Gao Xingsen, Kleemann Wolfgang, and Lu Sheng-Guo , Sci Rep, 2017 Mar 27, Volume 7, p.45335, (2017)

Strongly Enhanced Piezoelectric Response in Lead Zirconate Titanate Films with Vertically Aligned Columnar Grains., Nguyen, Minh D., Houwman Evert P., Dekkers Matthijn, and Rijnders Guus , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2017 Mar 22, Volume 9, Issue 11, p.9849-9861, (2017)

Tuning of large piezoelectric response in nanosheet-buffered lead zirconate titanate films on glass substrates., Chopra, Anuj, Bayraktar Muharrem, Nijland Maarten, Elshof Johan E. ten, Bijkerk Fred, and Rijnders Guus , Sci Rep, 2017 Mar 21, Volume 7, Issue 1, p.251, (2017)

Temperature Dependence of Domain Contributions as a Function of Aging in Soft and Hard Lead Zirconate Titanate Piezoelectric Ceramics., S Qaisar, Adam, Comyn Tim P., and Bell Andrew J. , IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control, 2017 Jun, Volume 64, Issue 6, p.1023-1028, (2017)

Temperature-dependent transport and hysteretic behaviors induced by interfacial states in MoS2 field-effect transistors with lead-zirconate-titanate ferroelectric gating., Sun, Yilin, Xie Dan, Zhang Xiaowen, Xu Jianlong, Li Xinming, Li Xian, Dai Ruixuan, Li Xiao, Li Peilian, Gao Xingsen, et al. , Nanotechnology, 2017 Jan 27, Volume 28, Issue 4, p.045204, (2017)

Demonstrating the potential of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte for high-performance fuel cells., Bae, Kiho, Jang Dong Young, Choi Hyung Jong, Kim Donghwan, Hong Jongsup, Kim Byung-Kook, Lee Jong-Ho, Son Ji-Won, and Shim Joon Hyung , Nat Commun, 2017 Feb 23, Volume 8, p.14553, (2017)

1T1R Nonvolatile Memory with Al/TiO₂/Au and Sol-Gel-Processed Insulator for Barium Zirconate Nickelate Gate in Pentacene Thin Film Transistor., Lee, Ke-Jing, Chang Yu-Chi, Lee Cheng-Jung, Wang Li-Wen, and Wang Yeong-Her , Materials (Basel), 2017 Dec 09, Volume 10, Issue 12, (2017)

The Effect of Acceptor and Donor Doping on Oxygen Vacancy Concentrations in Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT)., Slouka, Christoph, Kainz Theresa, Navickas Edvinas, Walch Gregor, Hutter Herbert, Reichmann Klaus, and Fleig Jürgen , Materials (Basel), 2016 Nov 22, Volume 9, Issue 11, (2016)

Mechanoluminescence Study of Europium Doped CaZrO3 Phosphor., Tiwari, Neha, Dubey Vikas, and Kuraria R K. , J Fluoresc, 2016 May 16, (2016)

Alkaline Earth Metal Zirconate Perovskites MZrO3 (M=Ba(2+), Sr(2+), Ca(2+)) Derived from Molecular Precursors and Doped with Eu(3+) Ions., Drąg-Jarząbek, Anna, John Łukasz, Petrus Rafał, Kosińska-Klähn Magdalena, and Sobota Piotr , Chemistry, 2016 Mar 24, Volume 22, Issue 14, p.4780-8, (2016)

Susceptible Ferroelectric/Antiferroelectric Phase Transition near the Surface of Nb-Doped Lead Zirconate Stannate Titanate from Surface Processing., Lu, Teng, Studer Andrew J., Cortie David, Lau Kenny, Yu Dehong, Feng Yujun, Chen Hua, Xu Zhuo, Withers Ray L., McIntyre Garry J., et al. , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2016 Jun 15, Volume 8, Issue 23, p.14313-7, (2016)

Ferroelectric devices using lead zirconate titanate (PZT) nanoparticles., Paik, Young Hun, Kojori Hossein Shokri, and Kim Sung Jin , Nanotechnology, 2016 Feb 19, Volume 27, Issue 7, p.075204, (2016)

Active layers of high-performance lead zirconate titanate at temperatures compatible with silicon nano- and microeletronic [corrected] devices., Bretos, Iñigo, Jiménez Ricardo, Tomczyk Monika, Rodríguez-Castellón Enrique, Vilarinho Paula M., and M Calzada Lourdes , Sci Rep, 2016 Feb 03, Volume 6, p.20143, (2016)