Local piezoelectric properties of ZnO thin films prepared by RF-plasma-assisted pulsed-laser deposition method


Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were grown on uncoated and zinc-coated Corning glass substrates by pulsed-laser deposition (PLD). X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that the as-deposited films are polycrystalline having preferential orientation along the [ 0002] and [10 (1) over bar1] directions. Transmittance spectroscopy verified that the as-deposited films are transparent with a direct bandgap of about 3.28 eV at room temperature. Piezoresponse imaging and local hysteresis loop acquisition were performed to characterize the piezoelectric and possible ferroelectric properties of the films. The out-of-plane (effective longitudinal, d(parallel to)) and in-plane (effective shear, d(perpendicular to)) coefficients were estimated from the local piezoresponse based on the comparison with LiNbO3 single crystals. Measurements of all three components of piezoresponse (one longitudinal and two shear signals) allowed constructing piezoelectric maps for polycrystalline ZnO and to relate the variation of piezoelectric properties to the crystallographic and grain structure of the films. A shifted piezoresponse hysteresis loop under high voltages hints at the possible pseudoferroelectricity, as discussed recently by Tagantsev (2008 Appl. Phys. Lett. 93 202905).



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science; Physics


Bdikin, IK; Gracio, J; Ayouchi, R; Schwarz, R; Kholkin, AL

our authors


RA is grateful for getting funds from the Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal (grant no. SFRH/BPD/34111/2006).

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