Deciphering the role of A-site ions of AZrO3-type dopants in (K, Na)NbO3 ceramics

As one of the most important lead-free piezoelectric candidates, potassium sodium niobate [(K, Na)NbO3, KNN] has gained popularity due to its attractive functional properties, which are much improved by chemical modifications. However, there still remains an insufficient understanding of how these dopants influence the structure and performance of KNN ceramics. Herein, we comparatively studied a series of changes triggered by introducing (Bi0.5Na0.5)ZrO3, BaZrO3, and PbZrO3 into the KNN matrix. The analysis highlights their different roles in modulating the orthorhombic-tetragonal phase transition temperature (TO-T) by considering discrepancies in the electronegativity and radius among Bi3+, Ba2+, and Pb2+ ions. The synergistic effects of the large electronegativity and the small radius of the Bi3+ ion are the key to regulating TO-T, which is relatively unaffected by Pb2+ and Ba2+ ions. Based on experimental results and first-principles calculations, a multi-scale model is proposed to summary the general law of how the electronegativity and radius of the A-site ion in AZrO3-type dopants synergistically affect the phase structure, ferroelectric domains, and electrical properties of KNN ceramics. Therefore, this work helps understand the role of chemical dopants in the structure and performance of KNN ceramics and promote the future composition design for high performance.

Wang, X., Lv, X., Ma, Y., Zhang, X., Lyu, J., & Wu, J. (2023). Deciphering the role of A-site ions of AZrO3-type dopants in (K, Na)NbO3 ceramics. Acta Materialia, 118997.

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 12204327, 52061130216, 52032007, and 52002252), the Central Funds Guiding the Local Science and Technology Development of Sichuan Province (2021ZYD0022), Natural Science Foundation of Sichuan Province (2023NSFSC0967), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (YJ2021154), and Chengdu International Science and Technology Cooperation Project (2021-GH03-00003-HZ). The Royal Society is appreciated for a Newton Advanced Fellowship award (NAF\R1\201126). We appreciate the support from Ms. Hui Wang (Analytical & Testing Center of Sichuan University) for conducting the FE-SEM measurements.

Elsevier BV

Acta Materialia


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