Polarity Modulation Induced High Electrostrain Performance with Near-Zero Hysteresis in a (Sr0.7Bi0.2□0.1)TiO3-Based System
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
High-precision piezo actuators necessitate dielectrics with high electrostrain performance with low hysteresis. Polarity-modulated (Sr0.7Bi0.2□0.1)TiO3-based ceramics exhibit extraordinarily discrete multiphase coexistence regions: (i) the relaxor phase coexistence (RPC) region with local weakly polar tetragonal (T) and pseudocubic (Pc) short-range polar nanodomains and (ii) the ferroelectric phase coexistence (FPC) region with T long-range domains and Pc nanodomains. The RPC composition features a specially high and pure electrostrain performance with near-zero hysteresis (S ∼0.185%, Q33 ∼0.038 m4·C-2), which is double those of conventional Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-based ceramics. Particular interest is paid to the RPC and FPC with multiscale characterization to unravel local structure-performance relationships. Guided by piezoelectric force microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and phase-field simulations, the RPC composition with multiphase low-angle weakly polar nanodomains shows local structural heterogeneity and contributes to a flat local free energy profile and thus to nanodomain switching and superior electrostrain performance, in contrast to the FPC composition with a macroscopic domain that shows stark hysteresis. This work provides a paradigm to design high-precision actuator materials with large electrostrain and ultralow hysteresis, extending our knowledge of multiphase coexistence species in ferroelectrics.
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National Natural Science Foundation of China