Frequency-dependent decoupling of domain-wall motion and lattice strain in bismuth ferrite

Dynamics of domain walls are among the main features that control strain mechanisms in ferroic materials. Here, we demonstrate that the domain-wall-controlled piezoelectric behaviour in multiferroic BiFeO3 is distinct from that reported in classical ferroelectrics. In situ X-ray diffraction was used to separate the electric-field-induced lattice strain and strain due to displacements of non-180° domain walls in polycrystalline BiFeO3 over a wide frequency range. These piezoelectric strain mechanisms have opposing trends as a function of frequency. The lattice strain increases with increasing frequency, showing negative piezoelectric phase angle (i.e., strain leads the electric field), an unusual feature so far demonstrated only in the total macroscopic piezoelectric response. Domain-wall motion exhibits the opposite behaviour, it decreases in magnitude with increasing frequency, showing more common positive piezoelectric phase angle (i.e., strain lags behind the electric field). Charge redistribution at conducting domain walls, oriented differently in different grain families, is demonstrated to be the cause.

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Nature Communications, 9, 1
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 Record created 2018-11-26, last modified 2020-04-20

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