Interrelation of Ferroelectricity, Morphology, and Thickness in Sol–Gel-Derived PbZrxTi1−xO3 Films


  • S. Trolier-McKinstry—contributing editor

  • The investigations were supported by the MOEMS Consortium of the Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade, Technion's fund for the promotion of research, and in part by a joint grant from the Center for Adsorption in Science of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption State of Israel. Additional support is from the Committee for Planning and Budgeting of the Council for Higher Education under the framework of the KAMEA and GILADI Programs.

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This paper describes the evolution of a sol–gel-derived PbZrxTi1−xO3 film microstructure and ferroelectricity as a function of thickness in the 0.2–1.2 μm range. In particular, we concentrate on the pyrochlore (Py) content in the film studied by the quantitative analysis of HRSEM images and corresponding ferroelectric properties. We have found that the Py content decreases with increasing thickness and have explained this phenomenon by a different extent of lead loss during processing. The ferroelectric hysteresis and fatigue of the films are correlated with the Py content. This paper shows that the Py presence in the film is responsible for the thickness-dependence of the coercive field.