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Effect of grain boundary on the electromechanical response of ferroelectric polycrystals

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3 Author(s)
Shu, Weilin ; Department of Engineering Mechanics, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China ; Wang, Jie ; Zhang, Tong-Yi

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The effect of grain boundaries on the electromechanical response of a ferroelectric polycrystal subjected to an electric field or stress is investigated numerically by using a phase field model. The grain boundaries in the phase field model are regarded as dielectrics in which the ferroelectric properties are degraded completely. The phase field simulations show that the presence of dielectric grain boundaries results in a large build-in depolarizing field in grains. The depolarizing field has a significant influence on the coercive field, the switching behaviour of ferroelectric domain under an electric field or stress, and the piezoelectric and dielectric properties of the ferroelectric polycrystal. It is found that both coercive field and remnant polarization decrease with the increase of the thickness of dielectric grain boundary. However, the piezoelectric coefficient and permittivity of the ferroelectric polycrystal become larger when the thickness of dielectric grain boundary increases. The enhancement of dielectric and piezoelectric properties by the dielectric grain boundary suggests a new degree of freedom to tune the electromechanical response of ferroelectric polycrystalline materials.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:112 ,  Issue: 6 )