Evolution of the composition, structure, and piezoelectric performance of (K1-xNax)NbO3nanorod arrays with hydrothermal reaction time
Lead-free (K,Na)NbO 3 (KNN) nanorod arrays were synthesized with the assistance of a Nb: SrTiO 3 single-crystal substrate through the hydrothermal process. The evolutions of the morphology, composition, and structure of the as-synthesized KNN nanorods with the increase in reaction time were investigated. The results confirmed that the increase in reaction time up to 3 h led to the increase in the length and aspect ratio of the well-aligned KNN nanorods. All samples have K-rich orthorhombic crystal structures, while the diffraction peaks shifted towards a higher degree. The peak shifts should be attributed to the increase in the Na content in the KNN lattice, which could decrease the lattice parameters owing to the small ionic radius of Na + than that of K + . Moreover, the increase in reaction time also resulted in the suppression of oxygen vacancies on the surface of the KNN nanorods. These evolutions of the composition and crystal structure, as well as the decrease in the defect content, lead to great enhancement of the nanorod's piezoelectric response, as their d 33 value was increased from 19 to 64 pm/V. These results demonstrated the significant impact of reaction time on the hydrothermal growth of high-performance lead-free KNN one-dimensional nanomaterials.