Preparation and characterization of doped lead zirconate titanate Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O₃ films

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Undoped and doped Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O₃, i. e. PZT, ferroelectric thin films were prepared by chemical solution deposition and spin-coating method. The precursors for making the undoped PZT films were derived from lead acetate, zirconium n-propoxide, and titanium iso-propoxide. In addition, lanthanum acetylacetonate, neodymium acetate, and niobium ethoxide were introduced into the precursor solution to accomplish doping of the corresponding elements. Both doped and undoped PZT films were coated onto Pt/Ti/SiO₂/Si, RuOx and single-crystal sapphire substrates of various thickness and annealed at a range of temperatures and times. The effects of dopants were studied in terms of the Curie temperature, crystal distortion, transformation temperature, microstructure, optical properties, and electrical properties. In addition to the dopant effect, the effects of substrates were also investigated with regard to crystallization and preferred orientation.

The Curie temperature of the doped and undoped PZT films was determined by in-situ hot-stage transmission electron microscope (TEM) and compared with those of bulk ceramics. Lattice distortion and phase transformation were determined by x-ray diffraction (XRD). Microstructure of the films was characterized by using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Optical properties were characterized by a UV-VIS-NIR scanning spectrophotometer and electrical properties and fatigue testing were measured on a standardized RT66A using a Virtual-Ground circuit.

It was observed that the addition of Nd and La dopants tends to enhance perovskite phase formation and improve electrical properties of PZT films. Higher refractive indices in La and Nd-doped PZT films imply that packing densities of PZT films are improved by adding dopants. Furthermore, the lower leakage currents and improved fatigue properties in PZT films were also observed by the addition of Nb dopants.