Evolution of phase structure, microstructure and piezoelectric properties in (1 − x)(K0.4Na0.6)Nb0.96Sb0.04O3–xCa0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 lead-free ceramics
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New lead-free piezoelectric (1 − x)(K0.4Na0.6)Nb0.96Sb0.04O3–xCa0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 ceramics were projected and prepared by using traditional ceramic preparation techniques, and we investigated the effects of Ca0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 content on their surface microstructure, phase structure and electrical properties. A phase pure perovskite structure was obtained for the ceramics within the studied composition range of 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.06, according to X-ray diffraction analysis. Additionally, it was found that adding Ca0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 into the ceramics caused a gradual evolution in the phase structure, and a rhombohedral-tetragonal phase boundary was identified at the composition x = 0.04. The ceramics showed an enhanced piezoelectric activity with compositions near the phase boundary. Furthermore, the phase diagram of the (1 − x)(K0.4Na0.6)Nb0.96Sb0.04O3–xCa0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 solid solution was built up by combining the X-ray diffraction analysis with the measurement results of the temperature-dependent dielectric behavior. These results indicate that the structural state of (K,Na)NbO3-based ceramics can be easily altered by using a suitable amount of Ca0.1(Bi0.5K0.5)0.9ZrO3 as additive, which will benefit the improvement of piezoelectric properties for such lead-free materials.
This work was supported by the Research Project of Chongqing Municipal Education Commission (No. yjg183037). The authors are also grateful for the grant support provided by the “Zeng Sumin Cup” Research Project of School of Materials and Energy, Southwest University, China.
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