Table of Contents
Journal of Ceramics
Volume 2013, Article ID 850751, 7 pages
Research Article

Simple and Rapid Fabrication of Thin Films by a Chelate Route

Laboratorio de Materiales Cerámicos, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, IFIR, CONICET, Avenida Pellegrini 250, S2000BTP Rosario, Argentina

Received 22 February 2013; Accepted 24 May 2013

Academic Editor: Shaomin Liu

Copyright © 2013 A. Fernández Solarte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Na0.5K0.5NbO3 (NKN) thin films were prepared by a chelate route which offers the advantage of a simple and rapid solution synthesis. The route is based on the use of acetoin as a chelating agent. The process was optimized by investigating the effects of alkaline volatilization on film properties. While we observed no evidence of stoichiometry problems due to potassium volatilization loss during the heat treatments, thin films synthesized with insufficient sodium excess presented a potassium-rich secondary phase, which has a significant influence on the ferroelectric properties. We show that the amount of spurious phase decreases with increasing Na+ concentration, in such a way that a 20 mol% Na+ excess is necessary to fully compensate the volatilization loss that occurred during the heat treatment. In this way, NKN thin films annealed at 650°C presented a well-crystallized perovskite structure, no secondary phases, well-defined ferroelectric hysteresis loops ( μC/cm2,  kV/cm), and low leakage current density (  A/cm2 at 80 kV/cm).