Ferroelectric Domains and Grain Engineering in SrBi2Ta2O9

  • H. Amorin
  • I. Coondoo
  • M. E. V. Costa
  • A. L. Kholkin


Aurivillius phase oxide ferroelectrics have attracted great interest as a lead-free replacement of PZT, especially for high-temperature applications. In this work, we report the growth of high-quality SrBi2Ta2O9 (SBT) single crystals by self-flux solution method. According to X-ray topography, the crystals with sizes up to 7 × 5 × 0.05 mm3 show perfect (001)-orientation with the edges directed along [110] axes. Anisotropy, crystalline orientation, growth mechanism, and their effect on the electrical properties are discussed. The domain structure of the single crystals is investigated by X-ray diffraction and piezoresponse force microscopy. Both ferroelectric 180° domains and ferroelastic 90° domains (twins) are revealed at room temperature. We observed coexisting domains of two types forming a well-known “herringbone” structure with mostly flat 90° walls. These high-quality crystals were used as templates for fabricating textured SBT ceramics via templated grain growth (TGG) technique. The SBT templates (5 wt.%) with dimensions ~40 × 40 × 8 μm3 were embedded in a fine-grained SBT powder matrix containing 3 wt.% of Bi2O3 excess that were partially aligned by uniaxial pressing. The influence of the pressing and sintering conditions on texture development was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis. It was found that the ceramics develop a bimodal microstructure with notable concentration of large (longer than 90 μm) aligned grains with c-axis oriented parallel to the pressing direction. The mechanism controlling the texture development and grain growth in SBT ceramics and its influence on the piezoelectric properties are discussed.


Texture Development Sinter Time Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Major Face Template Particle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge Drs. Igor Bdikin and Vladimir Shvartsman for their help with XRD and PFM measurements, respectively. Most of the work was performed within the PhD grant of H. Amorin supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT). The work was partly supported by the FCT project PTDC/FIS/108025/2008.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Amorin
    • 1
  • I. Coondoo
    • 2
  • M. E. V. Costa
    • 2
  • A. L. Kholkin
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Center for Research in Ceramics and Composite Materials (CICECO), Department of Ceramics and Glass EngineeringUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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