Unexpectedly high piezoelectricity of Sm-doped lead zirconate titanate in the Curie point region.

Author(s) Seshadri, S.B.; Nolan, M.M.; Tutuncu, G.; Forrester, J.S.; Sapper, E.; Esteves, G.; Granzow, T.; Thomas, P.A.; Nino, J.C.; Rojac, T.; Jones, J.L.
Journal Sci Rep
Date Published 2018 Mar 07

Large piezoelectric coefficients in polycrystalline lead zirconate titanate (PZT) are traditionally achieved through compositional design using a combination of chemical substitution with a donor dopant and adjustment of the zirconium to titanium compositional ratio to meet the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). In this work, a different route to large piezoelectricity is demonstrated. Results reveal unexpectedly high piezoelectric coefficients at elevated temperatures and compositions far from the MPB. At temperatures near the Curie point, doping with 2 at% Sm results in exceptionally large piezoelectric coefficients of up to 915 pm/V. This value is approximately twice those of other donor dopants (e.g., 477 pm/V for Nb and 435 pm/V for La). Structural changes during the phase transitions of Sm-doped PZT show a pseudo-cubic phase forming ≈50 °C below the Curie temperature. Possible origins of these effects are discussed and the high piezoelectricity is posited to be due to extrinsic effects. The enhancement of the mechanism at elevated temperatures is attributed to the coexistence of tetragonal and pseudo-cubic phases, which enables strain accommodation during electromechanical deformation and interphase boundary motion. This work provides insight into possible routes for designing high performance piezoelectrics which are alternatives to traditional methods relying on MPB compositions.

DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-22566-5
ISSN 2045-2322
Citation Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):4120.

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