Mrs. Rachel Onn Winestook, Student
Flexible ferroelectrics: Designing and Utilizing Nanoscale Characterization Methods
Ferroelectric are functional materials that exhibit strong electro-mechanical coupling, which favorites them for nanoscale applications, including biomedical ultrasound imaging, electromechanical sensors and actuators as well as low-power memory and computing devices. The growing demand for real-time electronics, e.g. for monitoring health-related vital signs, has raised a need for wearable ferroelectric-based devices. However, it is unknown whether ferroelectrics maintain their functional properties when flexed.
We investigate the influence of the intrinsic and extrinsic strain on hetro-epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (PZT 20/80) on a flexible mica substrate. To do so, we designed and produced a sample holder that allows us to apply homogenous strain in-situ while characterizing the film functionality at the nanoscale with both scanning force microscopy and x-ray diffraction. We characterized both the relaxed and strained film and compared the results also to those of a PZT 20/80 grown on SrTiO3, allowing us to deduce the effect of strain on the lattice parameters, ferroelastic domains, ferroelectric domain dynamics as well as the piezoresponse.