Mn/Nb-doped lead zirconate titanate thin films (PMZT/PNZT) were fabricated by sol–gel process. The effects of Mn/Nb dopant on the phase development, microstructure, ferroelectric and dielectric characteristics of films were studied systematically. For PMZT films, the ferroelectric and dielectric properties were found to deteriorate at low Mn concentration (1 %), while improve slightly as the doping level increased to 2 %. On the other hand, for PNZT films, the optimum doping level was found to be 2 %. The remnant polarization (2Pr) and coercive field (2Ec) were ~50 μC/cm2 and ~63 kV/cm, respectively. In addition, the maximum dielectric constant was found to be 1,630 for 2 % Nb doped films. The ferroelectric and dielectric properties were found to decrease as the increase of Nb doping level (~4 %), due to the fact that the excess Nb would accumulate at grain boundary, hinder the grain growth and decrease the grain size. The improved performance make Mn/Nb doped PZT thin films a promising ferroelectric material for practical applications.
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Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 50802066, 51072145, 51272191 and 51372181), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities and Self-determined and Innovative Research Funds of WUT (Grant No. 2013-IV-034).