Local deformation gradients in epitaxial Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O-3 layers investigated by transmission electron microscopy

T. Denneulin*, N. Wollschlaeger, A. S. Everhardt, S. Farokhipoor, B. Noheda, E. Snoeck, M. Hytch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lead zirconate titanate samples are used for their piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties in various types of micro-devices. Epitaxial layers of tetragonal perovskites have a tendency to relax by forming 90 degrees ferroelastic domains. The accommodation of the a/c/a/c polydomain structure on a flat substrate leads to nanoscale deformation gradients which locally influence the polarization by flexoelectric effect. Here, we investigated the deformation fields in epitaxial layers of Pb(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O-3 grown on SrTiO3 substrates using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We found that the deformation gradients depend on the domain walls inclination (+45 degrees or -45 degrees to the substrate interface) of the successive 90 degrees domains and we describe three different a/c/a domain configurations: one configuration with parallel a-domains and two configurations with perpendicular a-domains (V-shaped and hat-Lambda-shaped). In the parallel configuration, the c-domains contain horizontal and vertical gradients of out-of-plane deformation. In the V-shaped and hat-Lambda-shaped configurations, the c-domains exhibit a bending deformation field with vertical gradients of in-plane deformation. Each of these configurations is expected to have a different influence on the polarization and so the local properties of the film. The deformation gradients were measured using dark-field electron holography, a TEM technique, which offers a good sensitivity (0.1%) and a large field-of-view (hundreds of nanometers). The measurements are compared with finite element simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215701
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics-Condensed Matter
Volume30
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31-May-2018

Keywords

  • ferroelectric
  • PZT
  • strain
  • electron holography
  • TEM
  • FERROELASTIC DOMAIN-WALLS
  • FERROELECTRIC THIN-FILMS
  • MISFIT DISLOCATIONS
  • STRAIN RELAXATION
  • 1ST PRINCIPLES
  • PBTIO3 FILMS
  • POLARIZATION
  • HETEROSTRUCTURES
  • INTERFEROMETRY
  • PEROVSKITES

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