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Superior Capacitive Energy-Storage Performance in Pb-Free Relaxors with a Simple Chemical Composition

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Page Numbers
6194 to 6202

Chemical design of lead-free relaxors with simultaneously high energy density (Wrec) and high efficiency (η) for capacitive energy-storage has been a big challenge for advanced electronic systems. The current situation indicates that realizing such superior energy-storage properties requires highly complex chemical components. Herein, we demonstrate that, via local structure design, an ultrahigh Wrec of 10.1 J/cm3, concurrent with a high η of 90%, as well as excellent thermal and frequency stabilities can be achieved in a relaxor with a very simple chemical composition. By introducing 6s2 lone pair stereochemical active Bi into the classical BaTiO3 ferroelectric to generate a mismatch between A- and B-site polar displacements, a relaxor state with strong local polar fluctuations can be formed. Through advanced atomic-resolution displacement mapping and 3D reconstructing the nanoscale structure from neutron/X-ray total scattering, it is revealed that the localized Bi enhances the polar length largely at several perovskite unit cells and disrupts the long-range coherent Ti polar displacements, resulting in a slush-like structure with extremely small size polar clusters and strong local polar fluctuations. This favorable relaxor state exhibits substantially enhanced polarization, and minimized hysteresis at a high breakdown strength. This work offers a feasible avenue to chemically design new relaxors with a simple composition for high-performance capacitive energy-storage.