Fracture toughening and toughness asymmetry induced by flexoelectricity

Amir Abdollahi, Christian Peco, Daniel Millán, Marino Arroyo, Gustau Catalan, Irene Arias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Cracks generate the largest strain gradients that any material can withstand. Flexoelectricity (coupling between strain gradient and polarization) must therefore play an important role in fracture physics. Here we use a self-consistent continuum model to evidence two consequences of flexoelectricity in fracture: the resistance to fracture increases as structural size decreases, and it becomes asymmetric with respect to the sign of polarization. The latter phenomenon manifests itself in a range of intermediate sizes where piezo- and flexoelectricity compete. In BaTiO3 at room temperature, this range spans from 0.1 to 50 nm, a typical thickness range for epitaxial ferroelectric thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094101
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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