In this article, we demonstrate that a sol-gel-derived niobium-doped lead zirconate titanate film can be depolarized by the application of alternating current (ac) fields of diminishing amplitude and we explain the phenomenon based on the concept of the Preisach model. The amplitude of the ac fields is decreased from 20 to 2 MV/m in ten steps. The observed piezoelectric coefficient of the film decreases after each ac field step. Depending on the initial polarization and the direction of the ac fields, the piezoelectric coefficient can decrease to a very small value indicating the complete depolarization of the film. Our results reveal the existence of a distribution of the switching fields in the microdomains (Preisach dipolar units), and that because of mutual interactions the magnitudes of the switch-up and switch-down fields for each microdomain are not necessarily the same. Our results also suggest that the sputter deposition of the top electrode can induce more "down-state" microdomains, thus giving rise to an initial polarization in the film. Because of interactions with other microdomains or other effects, part of these microdomains exhibit very high switching fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)