The paper Direct and converse piezoelectric responses at the nanoscale from epitaxial BiFeO3 thin films grown by polymer assisted deposition published this October in the Nanoscale journal, has received funding from the EU-H2020 research and innovation programme, having benefitted from the access provided by the ICMAB-CSIC in Barcelona, within the framework of the NFFA-Europe Transnational Access Activity.
This access has been possible thanks to Andrés Gómez, who is responsible for the Atomic Force Microscopy facility at ICMAB, and Laura Cabana, project manager of the NFFA-Europe at ICMAB, who has ensured the access support.
One of the main goals of the NFFA-Europe project is to increase the mobility and collaboration of researchers among the different facilities. Since the begining of the project in 2015, there have been 301 proposals submitted, 64 % rate of accceptance, 40 countries applying and 903 lab sessions performed. For more outcomes and statistics, please visit: https://www.nffa.eu/outcomes/
The ICMAB participates in the project by providing access to some of our facilities (AFM, SQUID, XRD, Raman, PLD, etc) and by using other facilities elsewhere.
Abstract: We use an original water-based chemical method, to grow pure epitaxial BiFeO3 (BFO) ultra-thin films with excellent piezoelectric properties. Particularly, we show that this novel chemical route produces a higher natural ferroelectric domain size distribution and coercive field compared to similar BFO films grown by physical methods. Moreover, we measured the d33 piezoelectric coefficient of 60 nm thick BFO films with a direct approach, using Direct Piezoelectric Force Microscopy (DPFM). As a result, first piezo-generated charge maps of a very thin BFO layer were obtained applying this novel technology.
We also performed a comparative study of the d33 coefficients between standard PFM analysis and the DPFM microscopy showing similar values i.e. 17 pm/V and 22 pC/N respectively. Finally, we proved that the directionality of the piezoelectric effect in BFO ferroelectric thin films is preserved at low thickness dimensions demonstrating the potential of chemical processes for the development of low cost functional ferroelectric and piezoelectric devices.