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Free-standing ferroelectric multilayers: Crossover from thin-film to bulk behavior

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2 Author(s)
Prokhorenko, S. ; St. Petersburg Academic University–Nanotechnology Research and Education Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg 194021, Russia ; Pertsev, N. A.

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Ferroelectric films usually have phase states and physical properties very different from those of bulk ferroelectrics. Here we propose free-standing ferroelectric-elastic multilayers as a bridge between these two material systems. Using a nonlinear thermodynamic theory, we determine phase states of such multilayers as a function of temperature, misfit strain, and volume fraction φp of passive elastic material. The numerical calculations performed for two classical ferroelectrics—PbTiO3 and BaTiO3—demonstrate that polarization states of multilayers in the limiting cases φp→1 and φp→0 coincide with those of thin films and bulk crystals. At intermediate volume fractions, however, the misfit strain-temperature phase diagrams of multilayers differ greatly from those of epitaxial films. Remarkably, a ferroelectric phase not existing in thin films and bulk crystals can be stabilized in BaTiO3 multilayers. Owing to additional tunable parameter and reduced clamping, ferroelectric multilayers may be superior for a wide range of device applications.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:110 ,  Issue: 7 )