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There has been great progress in the last decade in the synthesis of nanopowders with highly controlled size and size distribution. Meanwhile, the development of an unconventional pressureless two-step sintering strategy enabling densification without grain growth provides a novel technology suitable for commercial production of nanograin ceramics. The particular interest concerning bulk dense nanograin ceramics is the manifestation of ferroelectricity, which remains a fundamental issue to be understood and exploited. Combining the best powder synthesis and optimized two-step sintering, high-density barium titanate (BT) and related nanograin ceramics have been fabricated to allow for a detailed determination of the size effect on nanometer-scale ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity of fundamental and industrial interest. These include dense ceramics of undoped BT with an average grain size down to 5 nm, and of (1−x)BiScO3xPbTiO3 (BSPT) solid solutions with an average grain size down to 10 nm. Here we review the fabrication methods of high-density BT and BSPT nanoceramics and the major findings of the size effect on their microstructure, phase transition and electrical properties. Robust ferroelectricity is demonstrated for the first time in 5 nm BT nanoceramics, while strong local piezoelectricity is present in 10 nm BSPT nanoceramics.


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New progress in development of ferroelectric and piezoelectric nanoceramics

Show Author's information Xiao-Hui WANGa( )I-Wei CHENbXiang-Yun DENGaYu-Di WANGbLong-Tu LIa
State Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6272, USA

Abstract

There has been great progress in the last decade in the synthesis of nanopowders with highly controlled size and size distribution. Meanwhile, the development of an unconventional pressureless two-step sintering strategy enabling densification without grain growth provides a novel technology suitable for commercial production of nanograin ceramics. The particular interest concerning bulk dense nanograin ceramics is the manifestation of ferroelectricity, which remains a fundamental issue to be understood and exploited. Combining the best powder synthesis and optimized two-step sintering, high-density barium titanate (BT) and related nanograin ceramics have been fabricated to allow for a detailed determination of the size effect on nanometer-scale ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity of fundamental and industrial interest. These include dense ceramics of undoped BT with an average grain size down to 5 nm, and of (1−x)BiScO3xPbTiO3 (BSPT) solid solutions with an average grain size down to 10 nm. Here we review the fabrication methods of high-density BT and BSPT nanoceramics and the major findings of the size effect on their microstructure, phase transition and electrical properties. Robust ferroelectricity is demonstrated for the first time in 5 nm BT nanoceramics, while strong local piezoelectricity is present in 10 nm BSPT nanoceramics.

Keywords:

nanoceramic, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, barium titanate, size effect
Received: 06 November 2014 Accepted: 27 November 2014 Published: 31 January 2015 Issue date: March 2015
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Publication history

Received: 06 November 2014
Accepted: 27 November 2014
Published: 31 January 2015
Issue date: March 2015

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© The author(s) 2015

Acknowledgements

We thank Wojciech Dmowski (Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PO Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6453, USA, wdmowski@utk.edu) for synchrotron XRD measurements. The work was supported by Ministry of Sciences and Technology of China through National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program No. 2009CB623301), National Natural Science Foundation of China for Creative Research Groups (Grant No. 51221291). IWC and YDW’s research was supported by the US National Science Foundation (Grant Nos. DMR0907523 and DMR1409114). They also acknowledge the use of facilities supported by the US National Science Foundation (Grant No. DMR1120901). We would like to thank Dr. TieYu Sun, ShaoPeng Zhang and Hui Zhang for their contributions for this work.

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