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High Permittivity (1 – x)Ba(Zr0.2Ti0.8)O3x(Ba0.7Ca0.3)TiO3 (x = 0.45) Epitaxial Thin Films with Nanoscale Phase Fluctuations

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015, 10:27 by Nicu D. Scarisoreanu, Floriana Craciun, Antoniu Moldovan, Valentin Ion, Ruxandra Birjega, Corneliu Ghica, Raluca F. Negrea, Maria Dinescu
Epitaxial (1 – x)­Ba­(Ti0.8Zr0.2)­TiO3x(Ba0.7Ca0.3)­TiO3, x = 0.45 (BCZT 45), thin films have been deposited on (001) SrTiO3 (STO) and (001/100) SrLaAlO4 (SLAO) substrates by pulsed laser deposition. X-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) confirmed the epitaxial growth of the films. A high structural quality has been evidenced for the BCZT/STO films. Geometric phase analysis (GPA) associated with the HRTEM enabled us to obtain microstrain analysis and the in-plane and out-of-plane lattice parameter variation on different areas. Tetragonality ratio fluctuations at nanoscale level which are relevant for the existence of nanodomains have been evidenced on the BCZT/STO films. The in-plane dielectric constant has been measured on interdigital electrodes deposited by lift-off technique on the top of the films. High values of dielectric permittivity (>3000) combined with low dielectric loss (<0.01) are obtained for BCZT 45 film deposited on STO substrate, showing nearly constant values between 1 kHz and 10 MHz. The high dielectric permittivity of BCZT thin films was attributed to their high structural quality and to the loss of rotation stability of the polarization associated with the presence of nanodomains. This results into a divergence of fluctuations of polarization direction and a peak of dielectric susceptibility. The enhanced switching of such nanodomain configuration was probed by piezoforce microscopy, by writing and reading domains during topography scanning.