Thin film stresses and phase boundaries

June 20, 2009

Shifting of the morphotropic phase boundary and superior piezoelectric response in Nb-doped Pb(Zr, Ti)O3 epitaxial thin films

Z-X Zhu et al

A shift of the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) and a superior piezoelectric response are observed in Nb-doped Pb(ZrxTi1−x)O3 (PNZT) thin films epitaxially grown on Nb-doped SrTiO3(1 0 0) (Nb:STO) substrates. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectra characterizations confirm that a phase transition from a tetragonal structure to a rhombohedral structure occurs when the Zr/Ti ratio varies from 20/80 to 80/20. The phenomenological theory and experimental analyses suggest that the MPB of epitaxial PNZT thin films is shifted to the higher Zr/Ti ratio (around 70/30) from the conventional ratio (52/48) due to the misfit compressive stress induced by the substrate. A maximum local effective longitudinal piezoelectric coefficient (d33) up to 307 pm V−1 is observed at a Zr/Ti ratio of 70/30 in the current compositional range, again confirming the shifting of MPB in epitaxial PNZT thin films. These findings offer a new insight for the fabrication of epitaxial PZT thin films at MPB with a superior piezoelectric response.

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