Multilayers And Artificial Superlattices Of Lead Magnesium Niobate-Lead Titanate Based Relaxors
The present research work mainly focuses on fabrication of compositionally modulated multilayers of (l−x) Pb(Mgi/3N2/3)O3 - x PbTiO3 (PMNPT) through multi target pulsed laser ablation technique. Heterostructures like compositionally varying multilayers; multilayers with graded interface and a ferroelectric [PbTiO3 (PT)] and relaxor (PMN) superlattices of different periodicities were fabricated. Role of artificially enhanced chemical heterogeneity and strain on enhancement of physical property was studied. Dimensional dependent ferroelectric and antiferroelectric type of polarization behavior was observed in the case of both compositionally varying multilayers and the superlattice structures fabricated. The dimensional dependence of various ferroelectric interactions like long-range, short-range and interfacial coupling among the layers was studied. The phase transition behavior and dielectric studies were carried out on these heterostructures. An artificial superlattice of a relaxor ferroelectric with a ferromagnetic layer was also fabricated for magnetoelectric applications. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to ferroelectric (FE) heterostructures, their technological applications and the fundamental physics involved in ferroelectric heterostructures. Initially an introduction to the technological importance and advantages of ferroelectric heterostructures is provided. A brief introduction to relaxor ferroelectrics and their characteristic structural features are discussed. A brief review of the ferroelectric heterostructures both from fundamental science and technological point of view is provided. Finally the specific objectives of the current research are outlined. Chapter 2 deals with the various experimental studies carried out in this research work. It gives the details of the experimental set up and the basic operation principles of various structural and physical characterizations of the materials prepared. A brief explanation of material fabrication, structural, micro structural and physical property measurements is discussed. Chapter 3 addresses the problem of phase formation of PMNPT over platinum substrates and the role of the template over the phase formation, micro structural evolution and polarization behavior. The surface modifications of bare Pt under the processing conditions used to fabricate PMNPT was also studied. An intermediate roughening mechanism was observed. The role of LSCO over the micro structural evolution of PMNPT, the minimum thickness of LSCO required for phase formation of PMNPT, role of LSCO on phase formation and its effect on the polarization behavior of PMNPT of constant thickness are discussed. Chapter 4 deals with fabrication of different types of relaxor based heterostructures studied in this work. Three different types of PMNPT based heterostructures was fabricated using a multi target laser ablation chamber. The first type of heterostructure is a compositionally modulated multilayer thin film with four different compositions of (1-x) PMN - x PT (x = 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 at.%) and is represented as PMNPT multilayer (ML) further in this thesis. PMNPT ML with different individual layer thickness was fabricated (30, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 nm). The second type of heterostructure is the PMNPT ML of same dimensions, but associated with a post deposition annealing to achieve a graded interface between the multilayers present and will be named as PMNPT graded or simply graded, further in this thesis. The third type of heterostructure is an artificial superlattice of a simple relaxor ferroelectric (PMN) and a normal ferroelectric (PT), which will be named as PMN-PT superlattice (SL) further in this thesis. The crystallinity, micro structural features and the nature of the interface present in the fabricated heterostructures were studied using various experimental techniques. Chapter 5 deals with the FE studies of compositionally modulated PMNPT ML thin films and PMNPT graded thin films. The ML with individual layer thickness of 120nm exhibited a clear FE behavior but with a reduced remnant polarization and reduced non linear behavior in capacitance - voltage (C-V) characteristics. But on varying the dimensions of the individual layers (30, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120nm) a large dielectric tunability of around 74% was observed at lOOnm. The polarization behavior of these ML exhibited an interesting size dependent polarization behavior. A FE behavior was observed at low dimensions of 40 and 30nm. An AFE type of loop was observed at 60 and 80nm of individual layer thickness and at lOOnm it showed a clear paraelectric kind of behavior both in polarization hysteresis (P-E) and C-V studies. Graded films exhibited clear FE behavior at all dimensions fabricated and hence the role of interface in developing a critical polarization behavior in the case of ML was confirmed. Apart from the fundamental physics these ML and graded films permits the tunability of their physical properties on just varying the individual layer thickness. The dimensional dependence of dielectric tunability of ML and graded films were studied and it was found that in the case of a ML the dielectric tunability was high at lOOnm individual layer thickness and at 40nm in the case of a graded film. Thus the interfacial strain, interfacial coupling and chemical heterogeneity give an opportunity to engineer the physical property depending on the requirements. Chapter 6 deals with ferroelectric studies (P-E, C-V) of PMN-PT superlattice structures with different periodicities. The dimensional range in which, the interfacial coupling dominates the overall polarization behavior of the system was analyzed. A dimensional dependent FE and AFE behavior was observed in the PMN-PT SL structures. The dimensional dependent tunability of physical properties was achieved. The different interactions like short range, long range and the interfacial coupling and their dimensional dependent behavior was studied. The dimensional dependent tunability of the P-E and C-V behavior was observed both in symmetric and asymmetric SL structures. Chapter 7 deals with the relaxor behavior of the fabricated PMNPT ML, graded and PMN-PT SL structures. The dielectric phase transition of a PMNPT ML exhibited local maxima in the real part of dielectric constant with temperature. The local maxima correspond to the temperature regime at which, the individual layer dielectric maxima dominates the phase transition behavior of the ML structure. In the case of graded films an averaged behavior of all the compositions, with an enhanced diffusivity was observed. All the characteristic features of a relaxor ferroelectric were observed in the phase transition behavior of a graded thin film. The dielectric maxima exhibited a Vogel-Fulcher type of behavior with frequency, A similar averaged behavior was observed in the phase transition behavior of PMNPT ML at low dimensions (< 40 nm) of the individual layer. The dielectric phase transition behavior of PMN-PT SL structures of different periodicities was studied. No characteristic of a relaxor ferroelectric was observed for the periodicities in the range of 10 to 50 nm. At 60 nm periodicity the individual layer dominance was observed in the phase transition behavior of the SL structure. The phase transition behavior was found to be insensitive to the interfacial coupling in both the PMNPT ML and PMN-PT SL. Chapter 8 deals with the dielectric response, impedance spectroscopy and the DC leakage characteristics of the relaxor heterostructures. All the relaxor heterostructures fabricated, exhibited low frequency dispersion, similar to that of the Jonscher's universal type of relaxation behavior. The anomalous dispersion common of a relaxor ferroelectric was observed in the imaginary dielectric constant at high frequencies. A.multi debye type of relaxation behavior was observed in the impedance analysis and the relaxation time was found to obey Vogel-Fulcher type of relation with temperature. The leakage current of all the heterostructures were found to be few orders less than the homogeneous single layer thin films. A space charge limited conduction was observed in all the heterostructures fabricated. Chapter 9 deals with an attempt of realizing the magnetoelectric effect in an artificial superlattice structure consisting ferromagnetic [Lao.6Sro.4Mn03 (LSMO)] and ferroelectric (PMNPT 70-30) layers. Both symmetric and asymmetric SL structures were fabricated and the asymmetric SL exhibited both room temperature ferromagnetic and ferroelectric behavior. A weak influence of magnetic field over the polarization behavior was observed. The magnetic behavior and its influence over electrical behavior were found to be dominated by the interface and were confirmed from the Maxwell-Wagner type of relaxation. Chapter 10 gives the summary and conclusions of the present study and also discusses about the future work that could give more insight into the understanding of the relaxor heterostructures.