A study of the temperature dependence of the local ferroelectric properties of c-axis oriented Bi6Ti3Fe2O18 Aurivillius phase thin films: Illustrating the potential of a novel lead-free perovskite material for high density memory applications
Pemble, Martyn E.
The ability to control the growth, texture and orientation of self-nanostructured lead-free Aurivillius phase thin films can in principle, greatly improve their ferroelectric properties, since in these materials the polarization direction is dependent on crystallite orientation. Here, we report the growth of c-plane oriented Bi6Ti3Fe2O18 (B6TFO) functional oxide Aurivillius phase thin films on c-plane sapphire substrates by liquid injection chemical vapour deposition (LI-CVD). Microstructural analysis reveals that B6TFO thin films annealed at 850°C are highly crystalline, well textured (Lotgering factor of 0.962) and single phase. Typical Aurivillius plate-like morphology with an average film thickness of 110nm and roughness 24nm was observed. The potential of B6TFO for use as a material in lead-free piezoelectric and ferroelectric data storage applications was explored by investigating local electromechanical (piezoelectric) and ferroelectric properties at the nano-scale. Vertical and lateral piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) reveals stronger in-plane polarization due to the controlled growth of the a-axis oriented grains lying in the plane of the B6TFO films. Switching spectroscopy PFM (SS-PFM) hysteresis loops obtained at higher temperatures (up to 200°C) and at room temperature reveal a clear ferroelectric signature with only minor changes in piezoresponse observed with increasing temperature. Ferroelectric domain patterns were written at 200°C using PFM lithography. Hysteresis loops generated inside the poled regions at room and higher temperatures show a significant increase in piezoresponse due to alignment of the c-axis polarization components under the external electric field. No observable change in written domain patterns was observed after 20hrs of PFM scanning at 200°C, confirming that B6TFO retains polarization over this finite period of time. These studies demonstrate the potential of B6TFO thin films for use in piezoelectric applications at elevated temperatures and for use in non-volatile ferroelectric memory applications.
Polarization , Ferroelectric thin films , Atomic force microscopy , Ferroelectric materials , Ferroelectric switching
Faraz, A., Deepak, N., Schmidt, M., Pemble, M. E. and Keeney, L. (2015) 'A study of the temperature dependence of the local ferroelectric properties of c-axis oriented Bi6Ti3Fe2O18 Aurivillius phase thin films: Illustrating the potential of a novel lead-free perovskite material for high density memory applications', AIP Advances, 5(8), 087123 (14 pp). doi: 10.1063/1.4928495