Effect of Solution Conditions on the Properties of Sol-Gel Derived Potassium Sodium Niobate Thin Films on Platinized Sapphire Substrates


If piezoelectric micro-devices based on K0.5Na0.5NbO3 (KNN) thin films are to achieve commercialization, it is critical to optimize the films' performance using low-cost scalable processing conditions. Here, sol-gel derived KNN thin films are deposited using 0.2 and 0.4 M precursor solutions with 5% solely potassium excess and 20% alkali (both potassium and sodium) excess on platinized sapphire substrates with reduced thermal expansion mismatch in relation to KNN. Being then rapid thermal annealed at 750 degrees C for 5 min, the films revealed an identical thickness of similar to 340 nm but different properties. An average grain size of similar to 100 nm and nearly stoichiometric KNN films are obtained when using 5% potassium excess solution, while 20% alkali excess solutions give the grain size of 500-600 nm and (Na + K)/Nb ratio of 1.07-1.08 in the prepared films. Moreover, the 5% potassium excess solution films have a perovskite structure without clear preferential orientation, whereas a (100) texture appears for 20% alkali excess solutions, being particularly strong for the 0.4 M solution concentration. As a result of the grain size and (100) texturing competition, the highest room-temperature dielectric permittivity and lowest dissipation factor measured in the parallel-plate-capacitor geometry were obtained for KNN films using 0.2 M precursor solutions with 20% alkali excess. These films were also shown to possess more quadratic-like and less coercive local piezoelectric loops, compared to those from 5% potassium excess solution. Furthermore, KNN films with large (100)-textured grains prepared from 0.4 M precursor solution with 20% alkali excess were found to possess superior local piezoresponse attributed to multiscale domain microstructures.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Tkach, A; Santos, A; Zlotnik, S; Serrazina, R; Okhay, O; Bdikin, I; Costa, ME; Vilarinho, PM

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019, financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES as well as within FCT independent researcher grants IF/00602/2013 and IF/00582/2015. National funds (OE), through FCT, in the scope of the framework UID/EMS/00481/2019-FCT and Centro 2020, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in the scope of the project CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-022083 are also acknowledged.

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