Electric-field-induced non-ergodic relaxor to ferroelectric transition in BiFeO3xSrTiO3 ceramics

Leonardo Oliveira, Jeppe Ormstrup, Marta Majkut, Maja Makarovic, Tadej Rojac, Julian Walker, Hugh Simons*

*Corresponding author for this work

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While BiFeO3-based solid solutions show great promise for applications in energy conversion and storage, realizing this promise necessitates understanding the structure–property relationship in particular pertaining to the relaxor-like characteristics often exhibited by solid solutions with polar-to-non-polar morphotropic phase boundaries. To this end, we investigated the role of the compositionally-driven relaxor state in (100 − x)BiFeO3xSrTiO3 [BFO–xSTO], via in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction under bipolar electric-field cycling. The electric-field induced changes to the crystal structure, phase fraction and domain textures were monitored via the {111}pc, {200}pc, and 1/2{311}pc Bragg peaks. The dynamics of the intensities and positions of the (111) and (11̄) reflections reveal an initial non-ergodic regime followed by long-range ferroelectric ordering after extended poling cycles. The increased degree of random multi-site occupation in BFO–42STO compared to BFO–35STO is correlated with an increase of the critical electric field needed to induce the non-ergodic-to-ferroelectric transition, and a decrease in the degree of domain reorientation. Although both compositions show an irreversible transition to a long-range ferroelectric state, our results suggest that the weaker ferroelectric response in BFO–42STO is related to an increase in ergodicity. This, in turn, serves to guide the development of BFO-based systems into promising platform for further property engineering towards specific capacitor applications.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Pages (from-to)6902-6911
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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