Thickness dependence of structural and electrical properties in epitaxial lead zirconate titanate films

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Applied Physics, American Institute of Physics Inc., Volume 86, Number 1, p.595-602 (1999)


We have studied the effect of misfit strain on the microstructure and properties of ferroelectric lead zirconate titanate thin films. We have changed the misfit strain by varying the film thickness and studied the thickness effect on the domain formation of epitaxial PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 (PZT) films grown by pulsed laser deposition on (001) LaAlO3 substrates with La0.5Sr0.5CoO3 (LSCO) electrodes. The nominal thickness of the PZT films was varied from 60 to 400 nm with the LSCO electrode thickness kept constant at 50 nm. X-ray diffraction experiments show that the films relax via the formation of a domains, the fraction of which increase with the ferroelectric film thickness. The c-axis lattice constant of PZT films calculated from the 002 reflection decreases with increasing film thickness and approaches the bulk value of ∼0.413 nm in the films thicker than 300 nm. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy images reveal that the a-domain fraction and period increase with increasing film thickness. The relaxation of misfit strain in the film is accompanied by systematic changes in the polarization properties, as well as the switching fields, quantified by the coercive field and the activation field. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.


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