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Issue 3, 2020
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Emerging new phase boundary in potassium sodium-niobate based ceramics

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Developing eco-friendly high-performance piezoceramics without lead has become one of the most advanced frontiers in interdisciplinary research. Although potassium sodium-niobate {(K,Na)NbO3, KNN} based ceramics are believed to be one of the most promising lead-free candidates, the relatively inferior piezoelectric properties and strong temperature dependency have hindered their development for more than 50 years since being discovered in the 1950s. It was not until 2014 that our group initially proposed a new phase boundary (NPB) that simultaneously improved the piezoelectric properties and temperature stability of non-textured KNN-based ceramics to the level of partly lead-based ceramics. The NPB has been then proved by some researchers and believed to pave the way for “lead-free at last” proposed by E. Cross (Nature, 2004, 432, 24). However, the understanding of the NPB is still in its infancy, leaving many controversies, including the phase structure and physical mechanisms at the NPB as well as the essential difference when compared with other phase boundaries. In this context, we systematically summarized the origin and development of the NPB, focusing on the construction, structure and intrinsic trait of the NPB, the effects of the NPB on the performance, and the validity and related incipient devices of the NPB. Particularly, we concluded the phase structure and domain structure locating at the NPB, analyzed the physical mechanisms in depth, proposed the possible methods to further improve the performance at the NPB, and demonstrated the validity and scope of the NPB as well as the device application. Finally, we gave out our perspective on the challenges and future research of KNN-based ceramics with NPB. Therefore, we believe that this review could promote the understanding of the NPB and guide the future work of KNN-based ceramics.

Graphical abstract: Emerging new phase boundary in potassium sodium-niobate based ceramics

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Article information

19 Sep 2019
First published
08 Jan 2020

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020,49, 671-707
Article type
Review Article

Emerging new phase boundary in potassium sodium-niobate based ceramics

X. Lv, J. Zhu, D. Xiao, X. Zhang and J. Wu, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020, 49, 671
DOI: 10.1039/C9CS00432G

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