Understanding Strain-Induced Phase Transformations in BiFeO3 Thin Films

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Experiments demonstrate that under large epitaxial strain a coexisting striped phase emerges in BiFeO3 thin films, which comprises a tetragonal-like (T') and an intermediate S' polymorph. It exhibits a relatively large piezoelectric response when switching between the coexisting phase and a uniform T' phase. This strain-induced phase transformation is investigated through a synergistic combination of first-principles theory and experiments. The results show that the S' phase is energetically very close to the T' phase, but is structurally similar to the bulk rhombohedral (R) phase. By fully characterizing the intermediate S' polymorph, it is demonstrated that the flat energy landscape resulting in the absence of an energy barrier between the T' and S' phases fosters the above-mentioned reversible phase transformation. This ability to readily transform between the S' and T' polymorphs, which have very different octahedral rotation patterns and c/a ratios, is crucial to the enhanced piezoelectricity in strained BiFeO3 films. Additionally, a blueshift in the band gap when moving from R to S' to T' is observed. These results emphasize the importance of strain engineering for tuning electromechanical responses or, creating unique energy harvesting photonic structures, in oxide thin film architectures.
Publisher
WILEY
Issue Date
2015-08
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

ADVANCED SCIENCE, v.2, no.8, pp.1500041

ISSN
2198-3844
DOI
10.1002/advs.201500041
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/246191
Appears in Collection
PH-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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