Journal of Applied Physics

Temperature dependence of the transverse piezoelectric coefficient of thin films and aging effects

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We present a technique to measure the temperature dependence of the transverse piezoelectric coefficient e31,f of thin films of lead zirconate titanate (PZT), aluminum nitride, and BaTiO3 deposited on Si wafers. It is based on the collection of electric charges induced by the deflection of a Si cantilever coated with the piezoelectric film. The aim of this work is to assess the role of temperature in the decay of the remnant polarization of these materials, in particular, in optimized gradient-free PZT with composition PbZr0.52Ti0.48O3. It is found that in contrast to theoretical predictions, e31,f decreases with temperature because of the dominance of relaxation effects. The observation of steps in the logarithmic aging decay law is reminiscent of memory effects seen in frustrated spin glasses. © 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.