Atomically engineered interfaces yield extraordinary electrostriction

HW Zhang and N Pryds and DS Park and N Gauquelin and S Santucci and DV Christensen and D Jannis and D Chezganov and DA Rata and AR Insinga and IE Castelli and J Verbeeck and I Lubomirsky and P Muralt and D Damjanovic and V Esposito, NATURE, 609, 695-+ (2022).

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05073-6

Electrostriction is a property of dielectric materials whereby an applied electric field induces a mechanical deformation proportional to the square of that field. The magnitude of the effect is usually minuscule (<10(-19) m(2) V-2 for simple oxides). However, symmetry- breaking phenomena at the interfaces can offer an efficient strategy for the design of new properties(1,2). Here we report an engineered electrostrictive effect via the epitaxial deposition of alternating layers of Gd2O3-doped CeO2 and Er2O3-stabilized delta-Bi2O3 with atomically controlled interfaces on NdGaO3 substrates. The value of the electrostriction coefficient achieved is 2.38 x 10(-14) m(2) V-2, exceeding the best known relaxor ferroelectrics by three orders of magnitude. Our theoretical calculations indicate that this greatly enhanced electrostriction arises from coherent strain imparted by interfacial lattice discontinuity. These artificial heterostructures open a new avenue for the design and manipulation of electrostrictive materials and devices for nano/micro actuation and cutting-edge sensors.

Return to Publications page