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Temperature Dependent Piezoelectric Response And Strain-electric-field Hysteresis Of Rare-earth Modified Bismuth Ferrite Ceramics

Julian Walker, Hana Uršič, Andreja Bencan, Barbara Malic, Hugh Simons, Ian M Reaney, Giuseppe Viola, Valanoor Nagarajan, Tadej Rojac
Published 2016 · Materials Science
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The rare-earth (RE)-modified bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3 or BFO) family of ferroelectrics have uncomplicated lead-free chemistries and simple perovskite structures. Due to the high Curie transition temperature of the parent BiFeO3 perovskite (∼830 °C), they are promising piezoelectric materials for use at elevated temperatures. However, the influence of the specific RE species on the electromechanical behavior at high temperatures and above the coercive electric-field is not widely reported. Here, structural analysis over multiple length scales using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and piezoresponse force microscopy is coupled with a high electric-field cycling study and in situ converse d33 measurements up to 325 °C for three RE–BFO ceramic compositions, Bi0.86Sm0.14FeO3, Bi0.88Gd0.12FeO3 and Bi0.91Dy0.09FeO3. The ceramics exhibit different phase assemblages with varying amounts of polar rhombohedral R3c and intermediate antipolar orthorhombic Pbam phases as a function of the RE species. During electric-field cycling at electric-fields with amplitudes of 160 kV cm−1, peak-to-peak strains of 0.23–0.27% are reached for all three compositions. However, there are qualitative differences in the field-induced strain and electric current behavior as a function of electric-field cycling and the materials exhibit an electrical-history dependent behavior. Bi0.91Dy0.09FeO3 possesses an improved d33 stability as a function of temperature relative to the parent BFO perovskite and the highest depolarization temperature among the three RE–BFO compositions, with a stable d33 of ∼22 pC N−1 up to 325 °C.
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