Giant piezoelectricity of Sm-doped Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O-3-PbTiO3 single crystals



Publication Details

Li, F., Cabral, M. J., Xu, B., Cheng, Z., Dickey, E. C., LeBeau, J. M., Wang, J., Luo, J., Taylor, S., Hackenberger, W., Bellaiche, L., Xu, Z., Chen, L., Shrout, T. R. & Zhang, S. (2019). Giant piezoelectricity of Sm-doped Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O-3-PbTiO3 single crystals. Science, 364 (6437), 264-268.


High-performance piezoelectrics benefit transducers and sensors in a variety of electromechanical applications. The materials with the highest piezoelectric charge coefficients (d33) are relaxor-PbTiO3 crystals, which were discovered two decades ago. We successfully grew Sm-doped Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (Sm-PMN-PT) single crystals with even higher d33 values ranging from 3400 to 4100 picocoulombs per newton, with variation below 20% over the as-grown crystal boule, exhibiting good property uniformity. We characterized the Sm-PMN-PT on the atomic scale with scanning transmission electron microscopy and made first-principles calculations to determine that the giant piezoelectric properties arise from the enhanced local structural heterogeneity introduced by Sm3+ dopants. Rare-earth doping is thus identified as a general strategy for introducing local structural heterogeneity in order to enhance the piezoelectricity of relaxor ferroelectric crystals.

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