Giant electric field–induced strain in lead-free piezoceramics
Piezoelectric actuators are indispensable over a wide range of industries for their fast response and precise displacement. Most commercial piezoelectric actuators contain lead, posing environmental challenges. We show that a giant strain (1.05%) and a large-signal piezoelectric strain coefficient (2100 picometer/volt) are achieved in strontium (Sr)–doped (K,Na)NbO3 lead-free piezoceramics, being synthesized by the conventional solid-state reaction method without any post treatment. The underlying mechanism responsible for the ultrahigh electrostrain is the interaction between defect dipoles and domain switching. The fatigue resistance, thermal stability, and strain value (0.25%) at 20 kilovolt/centimeter are comparable with or better than those of commercial Pb(Zr,Ti)O3-based ceramics, showing great potential for practical applications. This material may provide a lead-free alternative with a simple composition for piezoelectric actuators and a paradigm for the design of high-performance piezoelectrics.
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