Composition-driven structural phase transitions in rare-earth-doped BiFeO3 ceramics: a review

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2015 Jan;62(1):62-82. doi: 10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006668.


Bismuth ferrite suffers from high leakage currents and the presence of a complex incommensurate spin cycloidal magnetic ordering, which has limited its commercial viability and has led researchers to investigate the functionality of doped BiFeO3 ceramics. In particular, the substitution of rare earths onto the Bi(3+) site of the perovskite lattice have been shown to lead to improved functional properties, including lower leakage currents and the suppression of the magnetic spin cycloid. There is particular interest in materials with compositions close to structural morphotropic phase boundaries, because these may lead to materials with enhanced electronic and magnetic properties analogous to the highly relevant PbZrO3- PbTiO3 solid solution. However, many contradictory crystal structures and physical behaviors are reported within the literature. To understand the structure-property relationships in these materials, it is vital that we first unravel the complex structural phase diagrams. We report here a comprehensive review of structural phase transitions in rare-earth-doped bismuth ferrite ceramics across the entire lanthanide series. We attempt to rationalize the literature in terms of the perovskite tool kit and propose an updated phase diagram based on an interpretation of the literature.