Recoverable Self-Polarization in Lead-Free Bismuth Sodium Titanate Piezoelectric Thin Films.

Author(s) Zhao, J.; Ren, W.; Niu, G.; Zhang, N.; Dong, G.; Wang, L.; Liu, M.; Shi, P.; Ye, Z.G.
Journal ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
Date Published 2017 Aug 15

Bismuth sodium titanate, Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3 (BNT), is a promising lead-free ferroelectric material. However, its potential applications have not been fully explored, mainly because of the complex domain structure arising from its intricate phase transitions. A deep and thorough study of its domain structure and polarization switching behavior will greatly help with understanding the polarization nature and with promoting future applications. In this work, we demonstrate that BNT polycrystalline films possess a highly ordered out-of-plane polarization (self-polarization) and randomly oriented in-plane polarizations. Interestingly, the inherent nature of polarization in the BNT films does not allow for the nonvolatile domain writing, as the switched polarization spontaneously and rapidly reverses to the initial orientation state once the external poling electric field is removed, making the self-polarization recoverable. Such a stable self-polarization vanishes gradually with temperature increasing over 150 °C but starts to recover to its initial state upon cooling down to 250 °C, and entirely recovers once the temperature is reduced to below 200 °C. Such interesting properties of BNT films are attributed to the combined effects of the free charges at the Pt electrode, (detected) cation vacancies at the oxide/Pt interface and the defects in oxide lattices. Our results make a step closer to fully understand the nature of polarization and related piezoelectricity in BNT. Such films with recoverable self-polarization are of great interest for applications as sensors, actuators, and transducers that can operate particularly under high temperatures and high electric field conditions.

DOI 10.1021/acsami.7b04033
ISSN 1944-8252
Citation ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017.

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