In Situ X-ray Diffraction of Biased Ferroelastic Switching in Tetragonal Lead-free (1−x)Ba(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3x(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3 Piezoelectrics



The effect of electric poling on the bipolar switching for tetragonal BZT–BCT materials is studied using large signal polarization and strain, small signal permittivity, and piezoelectric coefficient, as well as electric field–dependent in situ XRD experiments. Charge carrier agglomeration at domain and grain boundaries with increasing poling fields gives rise to an internal bias field that gradually biases domain switching behavior. The biased switching after electric poling is quantified during a bipolar measurement cycle from analysis of the electric and structural data. For a fresh sample the ferroelastic domain texture induced by a positive and negative electric measurement field is of the same magnitude. After poling, the induced ferroelastic domain texture is larger under a positive measurement field and smaller under a negative measurement field. A very large domain texture is achieved during poling, corresponding to 85% of the domains becoming aligned with their 002 pole in field direction. While the domain texture is significantly improved at higher poling fields, relaxation upon removal of the electric field appears independent of the poling history. This suggests a large extrinsic contribution to the macroscopic strain. It also facilitates the biased ferroelastic switching arising from the internal bias field developed during poling.