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The Formation Mechanism of the Novel Core–Shell Microstructure in Polyvinyl Alcohol-Additive Lead Zirconate Titanate Films

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Crack-free lead zirconate titanate (PZT) films were fabricated by the sol–gel process using a modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution, which contained PVA, glycerol, and water. In this study, the modified PVA solution was added to the PZT precursor solution, ranging from 1:2 to 1:6 in weight ratio. The X-ray diffraction results showed that the addition of the PVA solution still made the PVA-additive PZT films maintain crystallinity at 600°C for 30 min. The phase transformation of the PVA-additive PZT films was similar to the PVA-free PZT films, but the initial formation temperature of the perovskite phase was successfully reduced to 500°C by the enhancement of the PVA solution. Furthermore, the chelating effects of PVA induced to have the novel circular PZT clusters with a lead-rich core, and a zirconium- and titanium-rich shell. The formation mechanism of the novel core–shell PZT films is discussed. The circular core–shell PZT clusters acted as heterogeneous nucleation sites to reduce the nucleation barrier. Therefore, the PVA-additive multi-layer PZT films showed a smaller grain size than PVA-free PZT films. With this innovative procedure, crack-free, fine-grained, multi-layer PZT films were successfully obtained.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City 701, Taiwan 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Technology, Yung-Kang City, Tainan County 710, Taiwan

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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