Critical Role of Monoclinic Polarization Rotation in High-Performance Perovskite Piezoelectric Materials
AbstractHigh-performance piezoelectric materials constantly attract interest for both technological applications and fundamental research. The understanding of the origin of the high-performance piezoelectric property remains a challenge mainly due to the lack of direct experimental evidence. We perform in situ high-energy x-ray diffraction combined with 2D geometry scattering technology to reveal the underlying mechanism for the perovskite-type lead-based high-performance piezoelectric materials. The direct structural evidence reveals that the electric-field-driven continuous polarization rotation within the monoclinic plane plays a critical role to achieve the giant piezoelectric response. An intrinsic relationship between the crystal structure and piezoelectric performance in perovskite ferroelectrics has been established: A strong tendency of electric-field-driven polarization rotation generates peak piezoelectric performance and vice versa. Furthermore, the monoclinic MA structure is the key feature to superior piezoelectric properties as compared to other structures such as monoclinic MB, rhombohedral, and tetragonal. A high piezoelectric response originates from intrinsic lattice strain, but little from extrinsic domain switching. The present results will facilitate designing high-performance perovskite piezoelectric materials by enhancing the intrinsic lattice contribution with easy and continuous polarization rotation.