Piezoelectric actuators transform electrical energy into mechanical energy, and because of their compactness, quick response time and accurate displacement, they are sought after in many applications. Polycrystalline piezoelectric ceramics are technologically more appealing than single crystals due to their simpler and less expensive processing, but have yet to display electrostrain values that exceed 1%. Here we report a material design strategy wherein the efficient switching of ferroelectric–ferroelastic domains by an electric field is exploited to achieve a high electrostrain value of 1.3% in a pseudo-ternary ferroelectric alloy system, BiFeO3–PbTiO3–LaFeO3. Detailed structural investigations reveal that this electrostrain is associated with a combination of several factors: a large spontaneous lattice strain of the piezoelectric phase, domain miniaturization, a low-symmetry ferroelectric phase and a very large reverse switching of the non-180° domains. This insight for the design of a new class of polycrystalline piezoceramics with high electrostrains may be useful to develop alternatives to costly single-crystal actuators.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $17.42 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Uchino, K. Piezoelectric Actuators and Ultrasonic Motors (Kluwer Academic, Boston, 1996).
Park, S.-E. & Shrout, T. R. Ultrahigh strain and piezoelectric behavior in relaxor based ferroelectric single crystals. J. Appl. Phys. 82, 1804–1811 (1997).
Du, X., Belegundu, U. & Uchino, K. Crystal orientation dependence of piezoelectric properties in lead zirconate titanate: theoretical expectation for thin films. Jpn J. Appl. Phys. 36, 5580–5587 (1997).
Hall, D. A., Steuwer, A., Cherdhirunkorn, B., Mori, T. & Withers, P. J. Analysis of elastic strain and crystallographic texture in poled rhombohedral PZT ceramics. Acta Mater. 54, 3075–3083 (2006).
Li, J. Y., Rogan, R. C., Üstündag, E. & Bhattacharya, K. Domain switching in polycrystalline ferroelectric ceramics. Nat. Mater. 4, 776–781 (2005).
Liu, X. & Tan, X. Giant strains in non-textured (Bi1/2Na1/2)TiO3-based lead-free ceramics. Adv. Mater. 28, 574–578 (2016).
Damjanovic, D. Ferroelectric, dielectric and piezoelectric properties of ferroelectric thin films and ceramics. Rep. Prog. Phys. 61, 1267–1324 (1998).
Jones, J. L., Hoffman, M., Daniels, J. E. & Studer, A. J. Direct measurement of the domain switching contribution to the dynamic piezoelectric response in ferroelectric ceramics. Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 092901 (2006).
Fu, H. & Cohen, R. E. Polarization rotation mechanism for ultrahigh electromechanical response in single-crystal piezoelectrics. Nature 403, 281–283 (2000).
Wada, S., Park, S.-E., Cross, L. E. & Shrout, T. R. Domain configuration and ferroelectric related properties of relaxor based single crystals. J. Kor. Phys. Soc. 32, S1290–S1293 (1998).
Ren, X. Large electric-field-induced strain in ferroelectric crystals by point defect mediated reversible domain switching. Nat. Mater. 3, 91–94 (2004).
Xu, G., Zhong, Z., Bing, Y., Ye, Z.-G. & Shirane, G. Electric-field-induced redistribution of polar nano-regions in a relaxor ferroelectric. Nat. Mater. 5, 134–138 (2006).
Fedulov, S. A., Ladyzhinskii, P. B., Pyatigorskaya, I. L. & Venevetsev, Yu. N. Complete phase diagram of the PbTiO3-BiFeO3 system. Sov. Phys. Solid State 6, 375–378 (1964).
Comyn, T. P. et al. Phase-specific magnetic ordering in BiFeO3−PbTiO3. Appl. Phys. Lett. 93, 232901 (2008).
Dai, X., Xu, Z. & Viehland, D. J. Normal to relaxor ferroelectric transformations in lanthanum-modified tetragonal structured lead zirconate titanate ceramics. J. Appl. Phys. 79, 1021–1026 (1996).
Howard, C. J. & Stokes, H. T. Group-theoretical analysis of octahedral tilting in perovskites. Acta Cryst. B54, 782–789 (1998).
Stokes, H. T., Kisi, E. H., Hatch, D. M. & Howard, C. J. Group-theoretical analysis of octahedral tilting in ferroelectric perovskites. Acta Cryst. B58, 934–938 (2002).
Grinberg, I., Cooper, V. R. & Rappe, A. M. Relationship between local structure and phase transitions of a disordered solid solution. Nature 419, 909–911 (2002).
Westphal, V., Kleeman, W. & Glinchuk, M. D. Diffuse phase transitions and random-field-induced domain states of the relaxor ferroelectric PbMg1/3Nb2/3O3. Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 847–850 (1992).
Rao, B. N. et al. Local structural disorder and its influence on the average global structure and polar properties in Na0.5Ba0.5TiO3. Phys. Rev. B 88, 224103 (2013).
Usher, T.-M. et al. Local and average structures of BaTiO3–Bi(Zn1/2Ti1/2)O3. J. Appl. Phys. 120, 184102 (2016).
Ihlefeld, J. F. et al. Scaling effects in perovskite ferroelectrics: fundamental limits and structure–property relations. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 99, 2537–2557 (2016).
Pramanick, A., Damjanovic, D., Daniels, J. E., Nino, J. C. & Jones, J. L. Origins of electro-mechanical coupling in polycrystalline ferroelectrics during subcoercive electrical Loading. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 94, 293–309 (2011).
Rong, Y. et al. Large piezoelectric response and polarization in relaxor ferroelectric PbTiO3–Bi(Ni1/2Zr1/2)O3. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 96, 1035–1038 (2013).
Cheng, J.-R., Eitel, R. & Cross, L. E. Lanthanum-modified (1–x)(Bi0.8La0.2)(Ga0.05Fe0.95)O3.xPbTiO3 crystalline solutions: novel morphotropic phase-boundary lead-reduced piezoelectrics. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 86, 2111–2115 (2003).
Leist, T., Granzow, T., Jo, W. & Rödel, J. Effect of tetragonal distortion on ferroelectric domain switching: a case study on La doped BiFeO3-PbTiO3 ceramics. J. Appl. Phys. 108, 014103 (2010).
Carvajal, J. R. FULLPROF. A Rietveld refinement and pattern matching analysis program (Laboratories Leon Brillouin (CEA-CNRS), France, 2000).
R.R. acknowledges the Special Grant provided by IISc Bangalore in 2013 to set-up the facility to carry out high-resolution XRPD in situ with an electric field (Grant. no. AD/PG/RR/MET-08). R.R. also acknowledges the Nano mission Program of the Department of Science and Technology (Grant no. SR/NM/NS-1010/2015 (G)), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (Grant no. 03 (1347)/16/EMR-II) and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant no. EMR/2016/001457), Government of India for financial support. R.P. acknowledges SERB for the award of a National Post Doctoral Fellowship. P.N. and B.D. acknowledge a public grant overseen by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the ‘Investissements d’Avenir’ programme (Grant no. ANR-10-LABX-0035, Labex NanoSaclay) and the MATMECA consortium (contract no. ANR-10-EQPX-37). R.R. thanks X. Ren for helpful discussion.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Narayan, B., Malhotra, J.S., Pandey, R. et al. Electrostrain in excess of 1% in polycrystalline piezoelectrics. Nature Mater 17, 427–431 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0060-2
Designed morphotropic relaxor boundary ceramic exhibiting large electrostrain and negligible hysteresis
Acta Materialia (2021)
Role of magnetic ordering in the phase coexistence at the structural instability of the multiferroic BiFeO3–PbTiO3
Applied Physics Letters (2021)
A comparative study of energy harvesting performance of polymer‐piezoceramic composites fabricated with different piezoceramic constituents
International Journal of Energy Research (2021)
Tailoring the tetragonal distortion to obtain high Curie temperature and large piezoelectric properties in BiFeO3-PbTiO3-BaTiO3 solid solutions
Journal of the European Ceramic Society (2021)
Journal of Materiomics (2021)