Alternating current (AC) electric field poling (AC-poling) has been actively studied for tailoring the domain configuration of relaxor ferroelectric crystals to further improve their piezoelectric and electro-optical properties. Understanding the change and redistribution of ferroelectric domains under AC electric field is essential for exploring the mechanism of the enhanced piezoelectricity in AC-electric-field-poled (AC-poled) crystals. Despite extensive investigations over recent years, no consensus has yet been reached on this topic. Here, we performed a three-dimensional synchrotron X-ray diffraction study on C-oriented rhombohedral Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PMN-PT) ferroelectric crystals to characterize the domain structure variation during the AC-poling process. Our study clearly reveals that the AC electric field has an ability to efficiently merge the ferroelectric domains on both sides of 71o domain walls, leading to a considerable increase of domain size and thus a significant enhancement of electromechanical properties. In addition, this work indicates that, for the AC-poled C-oriented rhombohedral PMN-PT crystal, the most stable state should be the lamellar domain structure with only 109o domain walls and the same volume fractions of the two types of ferroelectric domains on both sides of domain walls, which is expected to benefit the design of high-performance ferroelectric via domain or domain wall engineering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Polymers and Plastics
- Metals and Alloys