Ferroelastic domain switching significantly affects piezoelectric properties in ferroelectric materials. The ferroelastic domain switching and the lattice deformation of both a-domains and c-domains under an applied electric field were investigated using in-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction in conjunction with a high-speed pulse generator set up for epitaxial (100)/(001)-oriented tetragonal Pb(Zr0.4Ti0.6)O3 (PZT) films grown on (100) c SrRuO3//(100)KTaO3 substrates. The 004 peak (c-domain) position shifts to a lower 2θ angle, which demonstrates the elongation of the c-axis lattice parameter of the c-domain under an applied electric field. In contrast, the 400 peak (a-domain) shifts in the opposite direction (higher angle), thus indicating a decrease in the a-axis lattice parameter of the a-domain. 90° domain switching from (100) to (001) orientations (from a-domain to c-domain) was observed by a change in the intensities of the 400 and 004 diffraction peaks by applying a high-speed pulsed electric field 200 ns in width. This change also accompanied a tilt in the angles of each domain from the substrate surface normal direction. This behaviour proved that the 90° domain switched within 40 ns under a high-speed pulsed electric field. Direct observation of such high-speed switching opens the way to design piezo-MEMS devices for high-frequency operation.
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