Table of Contents
Smart Materials Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 391026, 9 pages
Research Article

Local Fatigue Evaluation in PZT Thin Films with Nanoparticles by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy

Material and Reliability, ASMPT, Singapore 768924

Received 28 June 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011

Academic Editor: Tao Li

Copyright © 2012 B. S. Li. 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.


Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films with the morphotropic phase boundary composition (Zr/Ti = 52/48) have been prepared using a modified diol-based sol-gel route by introducing 1–5 mol% barium titanate (BT) nanoseeds into the precursor solution on platinized silicon substrates (Pt/Ti/SiO2/Si). Macroscopic electric properties of PZT film with nanoparticle showed a significant improvement of ferroelectric properties. This work aims at the systematic study of the local switching polarization behavior during fatigue in PZT films with and without nanoparticles by using very recent developed scanning piezoelectric microscopy (SPM). We show that the local fatigue performance, which is characterized by variations of local piezoloop with electric cycles, is significantly improved by adding some nanoseeds. It has been verified by scanning electron microscope (SEM) that the film grain morphology changes from columnar to granular structure with the addition of the nanoseeds. On the other hand, the existence of Pb transition phase, which existed in interface at early crystallization stage of pure PZT thin film, deteriorates the property of the interface. These microstructures and the interfaces of these films significantly affect the electrons injection occurred on the interfaces. The domain wall pinning induced by injected electrons and the succeeding penetration into the films is discussed to explain the fatigue performance.