Thermally induced phase switching in mechanically biased single crystal relaxors

S. Young, M. Staruch, E. A. Patterson, A. N. Caruso, S. E. Lofland, P. Finkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we examine the time-dependent piezoelectric response of [011] poled rhombohedral [Pb(In1/2Nb1/2)O3]0.24[Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3]0.44[PbTiO3]0.32 single crystals under variable thermal loading. We find that thermal radiation incident on a piezoelectric crystal held under mechanical compressive bias stress generates an abrupt jump in strain with a rise time <1 ms, much faster than the bulk thermal time scale. This discontinuity is associated with a weak first-order ferroelectric-ferroelectric structural phase transition as confirmed by in situ X-ray diffraction results. We demonstrate that this transition can be cycled repeatedly with low thermal hysteresis (<3 °C) under zero applied electric field with a sizable reversible strain jump of ∼0.12%. Moreover, we show that the thermally driven phase switching behavior can be tuned by varying the bias stress and/or electric field, establishing effective control parameters and conditions for future applications such as actuators, thermally controlled transducers, and sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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