Recent experimental measurements of large flexoelectric coefficients in ferroelectric ceramics suggest that strain gradients can affect the polarization and permittivity behaviour of inhomogeneously strained ferroelectrics. Here we present a phenomenological model of the effect of flexoelectricity on the dielectric constant, polarization, Curie temperature (T-C), temperature of maximum dielectric constant (T-m) and temperature of the onset of reversible polarization (T-ferro) for ferroelectric thin films subject to substrate-induced epitaxial strains that are allowed to relax with thickness, and the qualitative and quantitative predictions of the model are compared with experimental results for (Ba0.5Sr0.5)TiO3 thin films on SrRuO3 electrodes. It is shown that flexoelectricity can play an important role in decreasing the maximum dielectric constant of ferroelectric thin films under inhomogeneous in-plane strain, regardless of the sign of the strain gradient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials