Ferrielectricity in the archetypal antiferroelectric, PbZrO3

Yulian Yao, Aaron Naden, Mengkun Tian, Sergey Lisenkov, Zachary Beller, Amit Kumar, Josh Kacher, Inna Ponomareva, Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Antiferroelectric materials, where the transition between antipolar and polar phase is controlled by external electric fields, offer exceptional energy storage capacity with high efficiencies, giant electrocaloric effect, and superb electromechanical response. PbZrO3 is the first discovered and the archetypal antiferroelectric material. Nonetheless, substantial challenges in processing phase pure PbZrO3 have limited studies of the undoped composition, hindering understanding of the phase transitions in this material or unraveling the controversial origins of a low-field ferroelectric phase observed in lead zirconate thin films. Leveraging highly oriented PbZrO3 thin films, a room temperature ferrielectric phase is observed in absence of external electric fields, with modulations of amplitude and direction of the spontaneous polarization and large anisotropy for critical electric fields required for phase transition. The ferrielectric state observations are qualitatively consistent with theoretical predictions, and correlate with very high dielectric tunability, and ultra-high strains (up to 1.1%). This work suggests a need for re-evaluation of the fundamental science of antiferroelectricity in this archetypal material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2206541
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number3
Early online date12 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2023


  • Anisotropy
  • Antiferroelectric materials
  • Ferrielectric materials
  • PbZrO3
  • Thin films


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