Original Article

Citation: NPG Asia Materials (2015) 7, e189; doi:10.1038/am.2015.54
Published online 12 June 2015

Flexible organic ferroelectric films with a large piezoelectric response
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Wenxiu Gao1, Lei Chang2, He Ma1, Lu You2, Jiang Yin3, Junming Liu3, Zhiguo Liu3, Junling Wang2 and Guoliang Yuan1

  1. 1School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, PR China
  2. 2School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing, PR China

Correspondence: Professor J Wang, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore. E-mail: jlwang@ntu.edu.sg; Professor G Yuan, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, 200 Xiaolingwei, Nanjing 210094, PR China. E-mail: yuanguoliang@njust.edu.cn

Received 6 February 2015; Revised 23 April 2015; Accepted 23 April 2015

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Abstract

Compared with ferroelectric oxides, organic ferroelectric materials are lightweight, flexible and easy to process. They are ideal for applications in the next-generation portable electronics. Here, we demonstrate the room-temperature growth of imidazolium perchlorate (C3N2H5ClO4) ferroelectric films on various substrates, including Pt-coated Si, quartz and, more importantly, on flexible and transparent polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The films have a preferred (0 −1 −1) or (1 0 −1) orientation. The former shows a piezoelectric response comparable with the response of the Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3 film. This is attributed to the smaller elastic constant of the film, which makes it less susceptible to substrate clamping. When grown on PET, the film is transparent and can be bent to radii of a few millimetres without affecting its ferroelectric properties. Our discovery may significantly promote the application of molecular ferroelectrics in flexible and transparent electronics.

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