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Scientific Reports



In ferroelectrics, manifestation of a strong electromechanical coupling is attributed to both engineered domain morphology and phase transformations. However, realization of large sustainable and reversible strains and polarization rotation has been limited by fatigue, nonlinearity and hysteresis losses. Here, we demonstrate that large strain and polarization rotation can be generated for over 40 × 106 cycles with little fatigue by realization of a reversible ferroelectric-ferroelectric phase transition in [011] cut Pb(In1/2Nb1/2)O3-Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3-PbTiO3 (PIN-PMN-PT) relaxor ferroelectric single crystal. Direct tuning of this effect through combination of stress and applied electric field, confirmed both macroscopically and microscopically with x-ray and Raman scattering, reveals the local symmetry while sweeping through the transition with a low applied electric field (<0.2 MV/m) under mechanical stress. The observed change in local symmetry as determined by x-ray scattering confirms a proposed polarization rotation mechanism corresponding to a transition between rhombohedral and orthorhombic phases. These results shed more light onto the nature of this reversible transformation between two ferroelectric phases and advance towards the development of a wide range of ferroic and multiferroic devices.


Scientific Reports is a refereed open access journal published by Nature Publishing Group.