The antiferroelectric-ferroelectric phase transition in PbZrO3-based oxides is of both fundamental and practical importance. In ceramics in which such a transition readily occurs, the antiferroelectric and the ferroelectric phases often coexist in individual grains with a coherent interphase interface. In this work, the electric biasing in situ transmission electron microscopy technique is employed to directly observe a unique microstructural dynamic when ferroelectric and antiferroelectric domains are driven by a moderate electric field to interact. It is found that, under monotonic loading, the ferroelectric domain grows until it is blocked by the ferroelectric-antiferroelectric interface. At the same time, a kink is formed on the interface at the contact point. The interaction of the growing domain with the interface is interpreted in terms of depolarization field-assisted phase transition, which is supported by our phase-field simulation. Upon further bipolar cycling, the ferroelectric domain becomes less mobile and no longer reaches the ferroelectric-antiferroelectric interface, indicative of electric fatigue of the ferroelectric phase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)