Local structure and piezoelectric instability in lead-free (1 − x)BaTiO3-xA(Cu1/3Nb2/3)O3 (A = Sr, Ca, Ba) solid solutions†
This study provides a fundamental understanding of the enhanced piezoelectric instability in ABO3 perovskite based lead-free piezoelectric materials. For this we synthesized (1 − x)BaTiO3-xA(Cu1/3Nb2/3)O3 (A: Sr, Ba and Ca and x = 0.0–0.03) solid solutions exhibiting high piezoelectric response. The piezoelectric instability in these compositions was found to increase with x despite monotonous decrease in the long range polar ordering. High energy X-ray diffraction coupled with atomic pair distribution functions (PDF)s indicated an increase in local polarization. Raman scattering and EPR analysis revealed that substitutions on A and B sites both substantially perturbed the local octahedral dynamics and resulted in localized nano polar regions which imparted the high piezoelectric response.