Gentil, S., Damjanovic, D. & Setter, N. Journal of Electroceramics (2004) 12: 151. doi:10.1023/B:JECR.0000037720.39443.e3
The lead magnesium niobate [Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3 or PMN], and its solid solutions with lead titanate (PbTiO3 or PT), are of great interest because of their high electromechanical properties. At large PMN content, these materials exhibit relaxor characteristics with large electrostrictive strains and a large permittivity, while compositions near the morphotropic phase boundary present very interesting piezoelectric properties. So far, properties of these materials in ceramic, thin film and single-crystal form have been investigated. In this paper, we report on preparation and properties of pyrochlore free PMN and 0.65PMN-0.35PT thick films (thickness = 10 to 20 μm). The films were prepared from ethyl cellulose ink by screen printing on alumina substrate. The influence of various parameters, such as powder characteristics, inks formulation and films sintering conditions, on films densification are discussed. The dielectric and electromechanical properties of the films were examined. Relaxor-like behaviour was clearly demonstrated in PMN films. The maximum relative permittivity for PMN film was 10000 (at 0.1 kHz), which is lower than in bulk ceramics (17800 at 0.1 kHz) prepared under the same conditions. For 0.65PMN-0.35PT, the maximum relative permittivity was around 15500 against 24000 in the bulk. Several parameters, which might be responsible for the lower permittivity, are discussed. Poled 0.65PMN-0.35PT thick films exhibit relatively large piezoelectric response (d33 up to 200 pm/V) and unipolar strains approaching 0.1%, making these films of interest for various actuator and transducer applications.