Ultrahigh Electrostrictive Effect in Lead-Free Ferroelectric Ceramics Via Texture Engineering

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ACS applied materials & interfaces


The electrostrictive effect, which induces strain in ferroelectric ceramics, offers distinct advantages over its piezoelectric counterpart for high-precision actuator applications, including anhysteretic behavior even at high frequencies, rapid reaction times, and no requirement for poling. Historically, commercially available electrostrictive materials have been lead oxide-based. However, global restrictions on the use of lead in electronic components necessitate the exploration of lead-free electrostrictive ceramics with a high strain performance. Although various engineering strategies for producing materials with high strain have been proposed, they typically come at the expense of increased strain hysteresis. Here, we describe the extraordinary electrostrictive response of (Ba0.95Ca0.05)(Ti0.88Sn0.12)O3 (BCTS) ceramics with ultrahigh electrostrictive strain and negligible hysteresis achieved through texture engineering leveraging the anisotropic intrinsic lattice contribution. The BCTS ceramics exhibit a high unipolar strain of 0.175%, a substantial electrostrictive coefficient Q33 of 0.0715 m4 C-2, and an ultralow hysteresis of less than 0.8%. Notably, the Q33 value is three times greater than that of high-performance lead-based Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 electrostrictive ceramics. Multiscale structural analyses demonstrate that the electrostrictive effect dominates the BCTS strain response. This research introduces a novel approach to texture engineering to enhance the electrostrictive effect, offering a promising paradigm for future advancements in this field.

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