, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 557-564
Date: 20 Mar 2010

In situ neutron diffraction studies of a commercial, soft lead zirconate titanate ceramic: response to electric fields and mechanical stress

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Abstract

Structural changes in commercial lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramics (EC-65) under the application of electric fields and mechanical stress were measured using neutron diffraction instruments at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The structural changes during electric-field application were measured on the WOMBAT beamline at ANSTO and include non-180° domain switching, lattice strains and field-induced phase transformations. Using time-resolved data acquisition capabilities, lattice strains were measured under cyclic electric fields at times as short as 30 μs. Structural changes including the (002) and (200) lattice strains and non-180° domain switching were measured during uniaxial mechanical compression on the NRSF2 instrument at ORNL. Contraction of the crystallographic polarization axis, (002), and reorientation of non-180° domains occur at lowest stresses, followed by (200) elastic strains at higher stresses.