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

Role of the doping level in localized proton motions in acceptor-doped barium zirconate proton conductors., Noferini, Daria, Koza Michael M., Rahman Seikh M. H., Evenson Zach, Nilsen Gøran J., Eriksson Sten, Wildes Andrew R., and Karlsson Maths , Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2018 May 23, Volume 20, Issue 20, p.13697-13704, (2018)

Thermodynamic and crystallographic model for anion uptake by hydrated calcium aluminate (AFm): an example of molybdenum., Marty, Nicolas C. M., Grangeon Sylvain, Elkaïm Erik, Tournassat Christophe, Fauchet Clémence, and Claret Francis , Sci Rep, 2018 May 21, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.7943, (2018)

Direct-Write Laser Grayscale Lithography for Multilayer Lead Zirconate Titanate Thin Films., Benoit, Robert R., Jordan Delaney M., Smith Gabriel L., Polcawich Ronald G., Bedair Sarah S., and Potrepka Daniel M. , IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control, 2018 May, Volume 65, Issue 5, p.889-894, (2018)

Unexpectedly high piezoelectricity of Sm-doped lead zirconate titanate in the Curie point region., Seshadri, Shruti B., Nolan Michelle M., Tutuncu Goknur, Forrester Jennifer S., Sapper Eva, Esteves Giovanni, Granzow Torsten, Thomas Pam A., Nino Juan C., Rojac Tadej, et al. , Sci Rep, 2018 Mar 07, Volume 8, Issue 1, p.4120, (2018)

Influence of Nonstoichiometry on Proton Conductivity in Thin-Film Yttrium-Doped Barium Zirconate., Ding, Jilai, Balachandran Janakiraman, Sang Xiahan, Guo Wei, Veith Gabriel M., Bridges Craig A., Rouleau Christopher M., Poplawsky Jonathan D., Bassiri-Gharb Nazanin, Ganesh Panchapakesan, et al. , ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2018 Feb 07, Volume 10, Issue 5, p.4816-4823, (2018)

Dielectric Properties and Switching Processes of Barium Titanate⁻Barium Zirconate Ferroelectric Superlattices., Sidorkin, Alexander, Nesterenko Lolita, Gagou Yaovi, Saint-Gregoire Pierre, Vorotnikov Eugeniy, and Popravko Nadezhda , Materials (Basel), 2018 Aug 14, Volume 11, Issue 8, (2018)

Visible laser emission from a praseodymium-doped fluorozirconate guided-wave chip., Khurmi, C, Thoday S, Monro T M., Chen G, and Lancaster D G. , Opt Lett, 2017 Sep 01, Volume 42, Issue 17, p.3339-3342, (2017)

Afterglow dosimetry performance of beta particle irradiated lithium zirconate., Hernández-Pérez, T C., Bernal R, Cruz-Vázquez C, Brown F, Mendoza-Córdova A, Salas-Juárez Ch J., and Avilés-Monreal R , Appl Radiat Isot, 2017 Oct 18, (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)