Feasible Way to Achieve Multifunctional (K, Na)NbO3-Based Ceramics: Controlling Long-Range Ferroelectric Ordering

It is challenging to achieve highly tunable multifunctional properties in one piezoelectric ceramic system through a simple method due to the complicated relationship between the microscopic structure and macroscopic property. Here, multifunctional potassium sodium niobate [(K, Na)NbO3 (KNN)]-based lead-free piezoceramics with tunable piezoelectric and electrostrictive properties are achieved by controlling the long-range ferroelectric ordering (LRFO) through antimony (Sb) doping. At a low Sb doping, the slightly distorted NbO6 octahedron and the softened B–O repulsion well maintain the LRFO and induce plenty of nanoscale domains coexisting with a few polar nanoregions (PNRs). Thereby, the diffused rhombohedral–orthorhombic–tetragonal (R–O–T) multiphase coexistence with distinct dielectric jumping is constructed near room temperature, by which the nearly 2-fold increase in the piezoelectric coefficient (d33 ∼ 539 pC/N) and the temperature-insensitive strain (the unipolar strain varies less than 8% at 27–120 °C) are obtained. At a high Sb doping, the LRFO is significantly destroyed, leading to predominant PNRs. Thus, a typical relaxor is obtained at the ferroelectric–paraelectric phase transition near room temperature, in which a large electrostrictive coefficient (Q33 = 0.035 m4/C2), independent of the electric field and temperature, is obtained and comparable to that of lead-based materials. Therefore, our results prove that controlling the LRFO is a feasible way to achieve high-performance multifunctional KNN-based ceramics and is beneficial to the future composition design for KNN-based ceramics.

Zhang, N., Lv, X., Zhang, X., Cui, A., Hu, Z., & Wu, J. (2021). Feasible Way to Achieve Multifunctional (K, Na)NbO3-Based Ceramics: Controlling Long-Range Ferroelectric Ordering. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. doi:10.1021/acsami.1c19383

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 52002252, 52032007, 52061130216, and 12104156), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (YJ2021154), the Sichuan Science and Technology Program (2020YJ0070), and R & D Projects in Key Fields of Guangdong Province, China (2020B0109380001). Dr. Lv and Prof. Zhang appreciate the support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The Royal Society is thanked for a Newton Advanced Fellowship award (NAF\R1\201126). We also thank Hui Wang (Analytical & Testing Center of Sichuan University) for performing FE-SEM measurements.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces


Additional Links

Permanent link to this record