skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Exploring the Pb 1− x Sr x HfO 3 System and Potential for High Capacitive Energy Storage Density and Efficiency

The hafnate perovskites PbHfO3(antiferroelectric) and SrHfO3(“potential” ferroelectric) are studied as epitaxial thin films on SrTiO3(001) substrates with the added opportunity of observing a morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) in the Pb1−xSrxHfO3system. The resulting (240)‐oriented PbHfO3(Pba2) films exhibited antiferroelectric switching with a saturation polarization ≈53 µC cm−2at 1.6 MV cm−1, weak‐field dielectric constant ≈186 at 298 K, and an antiferroelectric‐to‐paraelectric phase transition at ≈518 K. (002)‐oriented SrHfO3films exhibited neither ferroelectric behavior nor evidence of a polarP4mmphase . Instead, the SrHfO3films exhibited a weak‐field dielectric constant ≈25 at 298 K and no signs of a structural transition to a polar phase as a function of temperature (77–623 K) and electric field (–3 to 3 MV cm−1). While the lack of ferroelectric order in SrHfO3removes the potential for MPB, structural and property evolution of the Pb1−xSrxHfO3(0 ≤x < 1) system is explored. Strontium alloying increased the electric‐breakdown strength (EB) and decreased hysteresis loss, thus enhancing the capacitive energy storage density (Ur) and efficiency (η). The composition, Pb0.5Sr0.5HfO3produced the best combination ofEB = 5.12 ± 0.5 MV cm−1,Ur = 77 ± 5 J cm−3, and η = 97 ± 2%, well out‐performing PbHfO3and other antiferroelectric oxides.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    The potential for creating hierarchical domain structures, or mixtures of energetically degenerate phases with distinct patterns that can be modified continually, in ferroelectric thin films offers a pathway to control their mesoscale structure beyond lattice‐mismatch strain with a substrate. Here, it is demonstrated that varying the strontium content provides deterministic strain‐driven control of hierarchical domain structures in Pb1−xSrxTiO3 solid‐solution thin films wherein two types,c/aanda1/a2, of nanodomains can coexist. Combining phase‐field simulations, epitaxial thin‐film growth, detailed structural, domain, and physical‐property characterization, it is observed that the system undergoes a gradual transformation (with increasing strontium content) from droplet‐likea1/a2 domains in ac/adomain matrix, to a connected‐labyrinth geometry ofc/adomains, to a disconnected labyrinth structure of the same, and, finally, to droplet‐likec/adomains in ana1/a2 domain matrix. A relationship between the different mixed‐phase modulation patterns and its topological nature is established. Annealing the connected‐labyrinth structure leads to domain coarsening forming distinctive regions of parallelc/aanda1/a2 domain stripes, offering additional design flexibility. Finally, it is found that the connected‐labyrinth domain patterns exhibit the highest dielectric permittivity.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Next‐generation electronics and energy technologies can now be developed as a result of the design, discovery, and development of novel, environmental friendly lead (Pb)‐free ferroelectric materials with improved characteristics and performance. However, there have only been a few reports of such complex materials’ design with multi‐phase interfacial chemistry, which can facilitate enhanced properties and performance. In this context, herein, novel lead‐free piezoelectric materials (1‐x)Ba0.95Ca0.05Ti0.95Zr0.05O3‐(x)Ba0.95Ca0.05Ti0.95Sn0.05O3, are reported, which are represented as (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST, with demonstrated excellent properties and energy harvesting performance. The (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST materials are synthesized by high‐temperature solid‐state ceramic reaction method by varyingxin the full range (x= 0.00–1.00). In‐depth exploration research is performed on the structural, dielectric, ferroelectric, and electro‐mechanical properties of (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics. The formation of perovskite structure for all ceramics without the presence of any impurity phases is confirmed by X‐ray diffraction (XRD) analyses, which also reveals that the Ca2+, Zr4+, and Sn4+are well dispersed within the BaTiO3lattice. For all (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics, thorough investigation of phase formation and phase‐stability using XRD, Rietveld refinement, Raman spectroscopy, high‐resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and temperature‐dependent dielectric measurements provide conclusive evidence for the coexistence of orthorhombic + tetragonal (Amm2+P4mm) phases at room temperature. The steady transition ofAmm2crystal symmetry toP4mmcrystal symmetry with increasingxcontent is also demonstrated by Rietveld refinement data and related analyses. The phase transition temperatures, rhombohedral‐orthorhombic (TR‐O), orthorhombic‐ tetragonal (TO‐T), and tetragonal‐cubic (TC), gradually shift toward lower temperature with increasingxcontent. For (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics, significantly improved dielectric and ferroelectric properties are observed, including relatively high dielectric constantεr≈ 1900–3300 (near room temperature),εr≈ 8800–12 900 (near Curie temperature), dielectric loss, tanδ≈ 0.01–0.02, remanent polarizationPr≈ 9.4–14 µC cm−2, coercive electric fieldEc≈ 2.5–3.6 kV cm−1. Further, high electric field‐induced strainS≈ 0.12–0.175%, piezoelectric charge coefficientd33≈ 296–360 pC N−1, converse piezoelectric coefficient ≈ 240–340 pm V−1, planar electromechanical coupling coefficientkp≈ 0.34–0.45, and electrostrictive coefficient (Q33)avg≈ 0.026–0.038 m4C−2are attained. Output performance with respect to mechanical energy demonstrates that the (0.6)BCZT‐(0.4)BCST composition (x= 0.4) displays better efficiency for generating electrical energy and, thus, the synthesized lead‐free piezoelectric (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST samples are suitable for energy harvesting applications. The results and analyses point to the outcome that the (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics as a potentially strong contender within the family of Pb‐free piezoelectric materials for future electronics and energy harvesting device technologies.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    The local compositional heterogeneity associated with the short‐range ordering of Mg and Nb in PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3(PMN) is correlated with its characteristic relaxor ferroelectric behavior. Fully ordered PMN is not prepared as a bulk material. This work examines the relaxor behavior in PMN thin films grown at temperatures below 1073 K by artificially reducing the degree of disorder via synthesis of heterostructures with alternate layers of Pb(Mg2/3Nb1/3)O3and PbNbO3, as suggested by the random‐site model. 100 nm thick, phase‐pure films are grown epitaxially on (111) SrTiO3substrates using alternate target timed pulsed‐laser deposition of Pb(Mg2/3Nb1/3)O3and PbNbO3targets with 20% excess Pb. Selected area electron diffraction confirms the emergence of (1/2, 1/2, 1/2) superlattice spots with randomly distributed ordered domains as large as ≈150 nm. These heterostructures exhibit a dielectric constant of 800, loss tangents of ≈0.03 and 2× remanent polarization of ≈11 µC cm−2at room temperature. Polarization–electric field hysteresis loops, Rayleigh data, and optical second‐harmonic generation measurements are consistent with the development of ferroelectric domains below 140 K. Temperature‐dependent permittivity measurements demonstrate reduced frequency dispersion compared to short range ordered PMN films. This work suggests a continuum between normal and relaxor ferroelectric behavior in the engineered PMN thin films.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Originally based on phenomenological observations, the Janovec–Kay–Dunn (JKD) scaling law has been historically used to describe the dependence of the ferroelectric coercive fields (Ec) on a critical length scale of the material, wherein the film thickness (t) is considered the length scale, andEct−2/3. Here, for the first time, a JKD‐type scaling behavior is reported in an antiferroelectric material, using the ultra‐thin films of prototypical flourite‐structure binary oxide, zirconia. In these films, a decrease in the ZrO2layer thickness from 20 nm to 5.4 nm leads to an increase in critical fields for both nonpolar‐to‐polar (Ea), and polar‐to‐nonpolar (Ef) transitions, accompanied by a decrease in the average crystallite size, and an increase in the tetragonal distortion of the non‐polarP42/nmcground state structure. Notably, the ‐2/3 power law as in the JKD law holds when average crystallite size (d), measured from glancing‐incident X‐ray diffraction, is considered as the critical length scale—i.e.,Ea,Efd−2/3. First principles calculations suggest that the increase of tetragonality in thinner films contributes to an increase of the energy barrier for the transition from the non‐polar tetragonal ground state to the field‐induced polar orthorhombic phase, and in turn, an increase inEacritical fields. These results suggest a de‐stabilization of the ferroelectric phase with a decreasing thickness in antiferroelectric ZrO2, which is contrary to the observations in its fluorite‐structure ferroelectric counterparts. With the recent interests in utilizing antiferroelectricity for advanced semiconductor applications, our fundamental exposition of the thickness dependence of functional responses therein can accelerate the development of miniaturized, antiferroelectric electronic memory elements for the complementary metal‐oxide‐semiconductor based high‐volume manufacturing platforms.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Ultrafast time‐domain thermoreflectance (TDTR) is utilized to extract the through‐plane thermal conductivity (ΛLSCO) of epitaxial La0.5Sr0.5CoO3−δ(LSCO) of varying thickness (<20 nm) on LaAlO3and SrTiO3substrates. These LSCO films possess ordered oxygen vacancies as the primary means of lattice mismatch accommodation with the substrate, which induces compressive/tensile strain and thus controls the orientation of the oxygen vacancy ordering (OVO). TDTR results demonstrate that the room‐temperatureΛLSCOof LSCO on both substrates (1.7 W m−1K−1) are nearly a factor of four lower than that of bulk single‐crystal LSCO (6.2 W m−1K−1). Remarkably, this approaches the lower limit of amorphous oxides (e.g., 1.3 W m−1K−1for glass), with no dependence on the OVO orientation. Through theoretical simulations, origins of the glass‐like thermal conductivity of LSCO are revealed as a combined effect resulting from oxygen vacancies (the dominant factor), Sr substitution, size effects, and the weak electron/phonon coupling within the LSCO film. The absence of OVO dependence in the measuredΛLSCOis rationalized by two main effects: (1) the nearly isotropic phononic thermal conductivity resulting from the imperfect OVO planes when δ is small; (2) the missing electronic contribution toΛLSCOalong the through‐plane direction for these ultrathin LSCO films on insulating substrates.

    more » « less