skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Large bi-axial tensile strain effect in epitaxial BiFeO3 film grown on single crystal PrScO3
Abstract

A BiFeO3film is grown epitaxially on a PrScO3single crystal substrate which imparts ~ 1.45% of biaxial tensile strain to BiFeO3resulting from lattice misfit. The biaxial tensile strain effect on BiFeO3is investigated in terms of crystal structure, Poisson ratio, and ferroelectric domain structure. Lattice resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, precession electron diffraction, and X-ray diffraction results clearly show that in-plane interplanar distance of BiFeO3is the same as that of PrScO3with no sign of misfit dislocations, indicating that the biaxial tensile strain caused by lattice mismatch between BiFeO3and PrScO3are stored as elastic energy within BiFeO3film. Nano-beam electron diffraction patterns compared with structure factor calculation found that the BiFeO3maintains rhombohedral symmetry, i.e., space group ofR3c. The pattern analysis also revealed two crystallographically distinguishable domains. Their relations with ferroelectric domain structures in terms of size and spontaneous polarization orientations within the domains are further understood using four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy technique.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
2039380
NSF-PAR ID:
10489003
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
SpringerNature
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Volume:
13
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2045-2322
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Controlling the growth of complex relaxor ferroelectric thin films and understanding the relationship between biaxial strain–structural domain characteristics are desirable for designing materials with a high electromechanical response. For this purpose, epitaxial thin films free of extended defects and secondary phases are urgently needed. Here, we used optimized growth parameters and target compositions to obtain epitaxial (40–45 nm) 0.67Pb(Mg 1/3 Nb 2/3 )O 3 –0.33PbTiO 3 /(20 nm) SrRuO 3 (PMN–33PT/SRO) heterostructures using pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) on singly terminated SrTiO 3 (STO) and ReScO 3 (RSO) substrates with Re = Dy, Tb, Gd, Sm, and Nd. In situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) analysis confirmed high-quality and single-phase thin films with smooth 2D surfaces. High-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (HR-STEM) revealed sharp interfaces and homogeneous strain further confirming the epitaxial cube-on-cube growth mode of the PMN–33PT/SRO heterostructures. The combined XRD reciprocal space maps (RSMs) and piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) analysis revealed that the domain structure of the PMN–33PT heterostructures is sensitive to the applied compressive strain. From the RSM patterns, an evolution from a butterfly-shaped diffraction pattern for mildly strained PMN–33PT layers, which is evidence of stabilization of relaxor domains, to disc-shaped diffraction patterns for high compressive strains with a highly distorted tetragonal structure, is observed. The PFM amplitude and phase of the PMN–33PT thin films confirmed the relaxor-like for a strain state below ∼1.13%, while for higher compressive strain (∼1.9%) the irregularly shaped and poled ferroelectric domains were observed. Interestingly, the PFM phase hysteresis loops of the PMN–33PT heterostructures grown on the SSO substrates (strain state of ∼0.8%) exhibited an enhanced coercive field which is about two times larger than that of the thin films grown on GSO and NSO substrates. The obtained results show that epitaxial strain engineering could serve as an effective approach for tailoring and enhancing the functional properties in relaxor ferroelectrics. 
    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

    Temperature‐ and electric‐field‐induced structural transitions in a polydomain ferroelectric can have profound effects on its electrothermal susceptibilities. Here, the role of such ferroelastic domains on the pyroelectric and electrocaloric response is experimentally investigated in thin films of the tetragonal ferroelectric PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3. By utilizing epitaxial strain, a rich set of ferroelastic polydomain states spanning a broad thermodynamic phase space are stabilized. Using temperature‐dependent scanning‐probe microscopy, X‐ray diffraction, and high‐frequency phase‐sensitive pyroelectric measurements, the propensity of domains to reconfigure under a temperature perturbation is quantitatively studied. In turn, the “extrinsic” contributions to pyroelectricity exclusively due to changes between the ferroelastic domain population is elucidated as a function of epitaxial strain. Further, using highly sensitive thin‐film resistive thermometry, direct electrocaloric temperature changes are measured on these polydomain thin films for the first time. The results demonstrate that temperature‐ and electric‐field‐driven domain interconversion under compressive strain diminish both the pyroelectric and the electrocaloric effects, while both these susceptibilities are enhanced due to the exact‐opposite effect from the extrinsic contributions under tensile strain.

     
    more » « less
  4. New properties and exotic quantum phenomena can form due to periodic nanotextures, including Moire patterns, ferroic domains, and topologically protected magnetization and polarization textures. Despite the availability of powerful tools to characterize the atomic crystal structure, the visualization of nanoscale strain-modulated structural motifs remains challenging. Here, we develop nondestructive real-space imaging of periodic lattice distortions in thin epitaxial films and report an emergent periodic nanotexture in a Mott insulator. Specifically, we combine iterative phase retrieval with unsupervised machine learning to invert the diffuse scattering pattern from conventional X-ray reciprocal-space maps into real-space images of crystalline displacements. Our imaging in PbTiO3/SrTiO3superlattices exhibiting checkerboard strain modulation substantiates published phase-field model calculations. Furthermore, the imaging of biaxially strained Mott insulator Ca2RuO4reveals a strain-induced nanotexture comprised of nanometer-thin metallic-structure wires separated by nanometer-thin Mott-insulating-structure walls, as confirmed by cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM). The nanotexture in Ca2RuO4film is induced by the metal-to-insulator transition and has not been reported in bulk crystals. We expect the phasing of diffuse X-ray scattering from thin crystalline films in combination with cryo-STEM to open a powerful avenue for discovering, visualizing, and quantifying the periodic strain-modulated structures in quantum materials.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Observation of a new type of nanoscale ferroelectric domains, termed as “bubble domains”—laterally confined spheroids of sub‐10 nm size with local dipoles self‐aligned in a direction opposite to the macroscopic polarization of a surrounding ferroelectric matrix—is reported. The bubble domains appear in ultrathin epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3/SrTiO3/PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3ferroelectric sandwich structures due to the interplay between charge and lattice degrees of freedom. The existence of the bubble domains is revealed by high‐resolution piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), and is corroborated by aberration‐corrected atomic‐resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy mapping of the polarization displacements. An incommensurate phase and symmetry breaking is found within these domains resulting in local polarization rotation and hence impart a mixed Néel–Bloch‐like character to the bubble domain walls. PFM hysteresis loops for the bubble domains reveal that they undergo an irreversible phase transition to cylindrical domains under the electric field, accompanied by a transient rise in the electromechanical response. The observations are in agreement with ab‐initio‐based calculations, which reveal a very narrow window of electrical and elastic parameters that allow the existence of bubble domains. The findings highlight the richness of polar topologies possible in ultrathin ferroelectric structures and bring forward the prospect of emergent functionalities due to topological transitions.

     
    more » « less