Giant Electrostriction and Relaxor Ferroelectric Behavior in Electron-Irradiated Poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) Copolymer

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Science  26 Jun 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5372, pp. 2101-2104
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5372.2101

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An exceptionally high electrostrictive response (∼4 percent) was observed in electron-irradiated poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) [P(VDF-TrFE)] copolymer. The material exhibits typical relaxor ferroelectric behavior, suggesting that the electron irradiation breaks up the coherent polarization domain (all-trans chains) in normal ferroelectric P(VDF-TrFE) copolymer into nanopolar regions (nanometer-size, all-trans chains interrupted by trans and gauche bonds) that transform the material into a relaxor ferroelectric. The expanding and contracting of these polar regions under external fields, coupled with a large difference in the lattice strain between the polar and nonpolar phases, generate an ultrahigh strain response.

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