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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jul 18;10(28):23945-23951. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b02239. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Self-Polarization in Epitaxial Fully Matched Lead-Free Bismuth Sodium Titanate Based Ferroelectric Thin Films.

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Electronic Materials Research Laboratory, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education & International Center for Dielectric Research, School of Electronic and Information Engineering , Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an 710049 , China.
Department of Chemistry and 4D LABS , Simon Fraser University , Burnaby , British Columbia V5A 1S6 , Canada.


The Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3-based ferroelectric is one of the most promising candidates for environment-friendly lead-free ferroelectric/piezoelectric materials for various applications such as actuators and micro-electromechanical systems. The understanding and tailoring of the ferro-(piezo-)electric properties of thin films, however, are strongly hindered by the formation of the defects such as dislocations, ion vacancies in the film, as well as by the complexity of the interface between the film and the substrate. An ideal system for the study of the polarization behavior in the ferro-(piezo-)electric film would be a fully matched system. In this work, monocrystalline 0.89Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3-0.11BaTiO3 thin films were epitaxially grown on (001)-oriented Nb-doped SrTiO3 substrates using a sol-gel technique. The films were almost fully lattice- and thermally matched with the substrate, thus avoiding the impact of dislocations and thermal stress. The films were self-poled by a built-in electric field, originating from the sedimentation of heavier atoms during the film preparation. As a consequence, an upward self-polarization was introduced into the films, giving rise to asymmetric phase hysteresis loops and domain switching current responses. These results highlight the importance of the interface complexity for the self-polarization of piezoelectric thin films, even for fully matched films, which will therefore facilitate the control of properties of piezoelectric films and their applications for various functional devices.


epitaxial growth; lattice-matched; lead-free; sol−gel; thermally matched; thin film


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