Article

Electric field mediated switching of mechanical properties of strontium titanate at room temperature

Crystal Research and Technology (Impact Factor: 1.16). 10/2009; 45(1):13 - 17. DOI: 10.1002/crat.200900612

ABSTRACT In situ application of an electric field to a SrTiO3 single crystal plate during nanoindentation led to a reversible change of the mechanical properties at room temperature. When a field of 8 kV/cm was applied, Meyer hardness and Young's modulus decreased by 0.6 GPa and 11 GPa, respectively. An explanation for this behaviour is given by the diffusion of oxygen vacancies resulting in a distortion of the perovskite-type of structure in the near-surface layer tested by nanoindentation. Simulations using density functional theory support the dependence of elasticity on the presence of vacancies. Thus, we can show the remarkable influence of electric fields on oxide materials which should be considered and used in designing future applications. (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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