Design and Synthesis of Novel, Lead-reduced Piezo-/Ferroelectric Materials

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Single crystal

Relaxor-based piezo-/ferroelectric materials of complex perovskite structure, represented by (1-x)Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-xPbTiO3 (PMN-PT), have demonstrated excellent piezoelectric performance. However, they also exhibit some inherent drawbacks, such as a low Curie temperature, an even lower de-poling temperature due to the presence of a morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) region, a weak coercive field and a high content of lead, which make them unsuitable for high-temperature and high-field (power) applications and raise environmental concerns. Bismuth-based complex perovskites, such as Bi(Zn1/2Ti1/2)O3 (BZT) seem to be an interesting candidate for the replacement of lead-based compounds because, like Pb2+ ion, Bi3+ also contains the 6s2 lone electron pair which is considered to be essential for the high piezo-/ferroelectric performance in lead-based perovskite. In addition, the solid solution between BZT and PT indeed exhibits larger structural distortion resulting in a higher Curie temperature than PT. However, its coercive field is too large for the material to be poled in order to make its potentially high piezo-/ferroelectric properties useful. Faced with those issues and challenges, outcomes of this thesis are two-fold: Firstly, addition of a non-stereochemically active ion and related complex compound, namely La(Zn1/2Ti1/2)O3 (LZT), as an end-member \"softens\" the structures, chemical bonding and electric properties of \"hard\" ferroelectric materials, to achieve improved electric properties, such as giant dielectric constant, smaller coercive field and switching polarization and excellent piezoelectricity and ferroelectricity.Secondly, addition of BZT as the third component \"hardens\" the structures, chemical bonding and electric properties of PMN-PT binary system in order to increase its coercive field and to improve its piezo-/ferroelectricity. In particular, special efforts have been made to grow the single crystals of the PMN-PT-BZT ternary system. The studies of the single crystals provide invaluable information on the phase symmetry, domain structures, phase transitions and electric properties and allow to gain a better understanding of the relationship between crystal formation, chemical composition, phase symmetry and macroscopic properties.

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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Zuo-Guang Ye
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.