5 years ago

Stress-Induced Cubic-to-Hexagonal Phase Transformation in Perovskite Nanothin Films

Stress-Induced Cubic-to-Hexagonal Phase Transformation in Perovskite Nanothin Films
Tong-Yi Zhang, Baoling Huang, Jie Wang, Hong-Hui Wu, Yunsong Li, Shi-Gu Cao
The strong coupling between crystal structure and mechanical deformation can stabilize low-symmetry phases from high-symmetry phases or induce novel phase transformation in oxide thin films. Stress-induced structural phase transformation in oxide thin films has drawn more and more attention due to its significant influence on the functionalities of the materials. Here, we discovered experimentally a novel stress-induced cubic-to-hexagonal phase transformation in the perovskite nanothin films of barium titanate (BaTiO3) with a special thermomechanical treatment (TMT), where BaTiO3 nanothin films under various stresses are annealed at temperature of 575 °C. Both high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy show a higher density of hexagonal phase in the perovskite thin film under higher tensile stress. Both X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy does not detect any change in the valence state of Ti atoms, thereby excluding the mechanism of oxygen vacancy induced cubic-to-hexagonal (c-to-h) phase transformation. First-principles calculations show that the c-to-h phase transformation can be completed by lattice shear at elevated temperature, which is consistent with the experimental observation. The applied bending plus the residual tensile stress produces shear stress in the nanothin film. The thermal energy at the elevated temperature assists the shear stress to overcome the energy barriers during the c-to-h phase transformation. The stress-induced phase transformation in perovskite nanothin films with TMT provides materials scientists and engineers a novel approach to tailor nano/microstructures and properties of ferroelectric materials.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02570

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02570

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