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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  2. In undoped lead zirconate titanate films of 1–2  μm thick, domain walls move in clusters with a correlation length of approximately 0.5–2  μm. Band excitation piezoresponse force microscopy mapping of the piezoelectric nonlinearity revealed that niobium (Nb) doping increases the average concentration or mobility of domain walls without changing the cluster area of correlated domain wall motion. In contrast, manganese (Mn) doping reduces the contribution of mobile domain walls to the dielectric and piezoelectric responses without changing the cluster area for correlated motion. In both Nb and Mn doped films, the cluster area increases and the cluster density drops as the film thickness increases from 250 to 1250 nm. This is evident in spatial maps generated from the analysis of irreversible to reversible ratios of the Rayleigh coefficients.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 27, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  4. Crack initiation stresses for different lead zirconate titanate (PZT) film compositions were investigated. PZT/Pt/TiO 2 /SiO 2 /Si stacks with 2.0 μm thick {100} oriented PZT films at the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) showed a characteristic strength of 1137 MPa, and the film thickness served as the limiting flaw size for failure of the film/substrate stack. In contrast, for Zr/Ti ratios of 40/60 and 30/70, the characteristic stack strength increased while the Weibull modulus decreased to values typical for that of Si. This difference is believed to be due to toughening from ferroelasticity or phase switching. X-ray diffraction showed that the volume fraction of c-domains increased in Ti-rich compositions. This would allow for more switching from c to a-domains under biaxial tensile stress. Zr/Ti concentration gradients were present for all compositions, which contributed to the observation of a rhombohedral phase off the MPB. Due to the reduced tendency toward cracking, off-MPB compositions are potentially of interest in actuators, albeit with the trade-off of needing a high actuation voltage.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 17, 2023
  5. Phase pure PbZr 0.52 Ti 0.48 O 3 (PZT) films with up to 13 mol. % Nb were prepared on Pt-coated Si substrates using chemical solution deposition; charge compensation for Nb was accomplished by reducing the concentration of lead in the film. For high Nb doping levels, (1) superoxidation of the PZT film surface makes the PZT/Pt interface more p-type and, hence reduces electron injection over the Schottky barrier, (2) the bulk charge transport mechanism changes from electron trapping by Ti 4+ to hole migration between lead vacancies, and (3) the ionic conductivity due to migration of oxygen vacancies decreases. For [Formula: see text] Nb, electrical degradation was controlled via field-induced accumulation of oxygen vacancies near the cathode, which, in turn, leads to Schottky barrier lowering and electron trapping by Ti 4+ . In phase pure 13 mol. % Nb doped PZT films, on the other hand, the increase in the leakage current during electrical degradation was dominated by hole migration between lead vacancies ([Formula: see text]. A much lower lifetime and drastic increase in the leakage current upon electrical degradation was observed in mixed phase PNZT films, which was attributed to (1) a more electrically conductive pyrochlore phase and (2) amore »high concentration of lead vacancies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 17, 2023
  6. Uniformly acceptor doped Pb(Zr 0.48 Ti 0.52 )O 3 (PZT) films with 2 mol. % Mg or Fe prepared by chemical solution deposition exhibited decreased dielectric constants and remanent polarizations relative to undoped PZT. For highly accelerated lifetime testing (HALT) at 200 °C and an electric field of 300 kV/cm in the field up direction, the HALT lifetimes (t 50 ) for undoped, Mg-doped, and Fe-doped PZT films were shortened from 2.81 ± 0.1 to 0.21 ± 0.1 and 0.54 ± 0.04 h, respectively. Through thermally stimulated depolarization current measurement, significant [Formula: see text] electromigration was found in homogeneously Mg-doped PZT thin films, a major factor in their short HALT lifetime. Because the concentration of oxygen vacancies increases with uniform acceptor doping, the lifetime decreases. In contrast, when a thin layer of Mg-doped or Fe-doped PZT was deposited on undoped PZT or Nb-doped PZT (PNZT), the HALT lifetimes were longer than those of pure PZT or PNZT films. This confirms prior work on PNZT films with a Mn-doped top layer, demonstrating that the HALT lifetime increases for composite films when a layer with multivalent acceptors is present near the negative electrode during HALT. In that case, the compensating electrons are trapped, presumably on the multivalent acceptors, thus increasing the lifetime.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 7, 2023
  7. Piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (piezoMEMS) enable dense arrays of actuators which are often driven to higher electrical fields than their bulk piezoelectric counterparts. In bulk ceramics, high field driving causes internal heating of the piezoelectric, largely due to field-induced domain wall motion. Self-heating is then tracked as a function of vibration velocity to determine the upper bound for the drive levels. However, the literature is limited concerning self-heating in thin film piezoMEMS. In this work, it is shown that self-heating in piezoMEMS transducer arrays occurs due to domain wall motion and Ohmic losses. This was demonstrated via a systematic study of drive waveform dependence of self-heating in piezoMEMS arrays. In particular, the magnitude of self-heating was quantified as a function of different waveform parameters (e.g., amplitude, DC offset, and frequency). Thermal modeling of the self-heating of piezoMEMS using the measured hysteresis loss from electrical characterization as the heat source was found to be in excellent agreement with the experimental data. The self-heating model allows improved thermal design of piezoMEMS and can, furthermore, be utilized for functional heating, especially for device level poling.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 17, 2023
  8. The receive sensitivity of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) piezoelectric micromachined ultrasound transducers (PMUTs) was improved by applying a DC bias during operation. The PMUT receive sensitivity is governed by the voltage piezoelectric coefficient, h31,f. With applied DC biases (up to 15 V) on a 2 μm PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3 film, e31,f increased 1.6 times, permittivity decreased by a factor of 0.6, and the voltage coefficient increased by ~2.5 times. For released PMUT devices, the ultrasound receive sensitivity improved by 2.5 times and the photoacoustic signal improved 1.9 times with 15 V applied DC bias. B-mode photoacoustic imaging experiments showed that with DC bias, the PMUT received clearer photoacoustic signals from pencil leads at 4.3 cm, compared to 3.7 cm without DC bias.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023