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Published January 3, 2005 | public
Journal Article

A computational model of ferroelectric domains. Part I: model formulation and domain switching


A model for studying the domain pattern of ferroelectric materials and its evolution is developed. In a departure from prior work, the electrostatic potential is made explicit, and consequently the model is able to predict the microstructural evolution and the macroscopic behavior of ferroelectrics subjected to realistic electro-mechanical boundary conditions. Nucleation of domains and propagation of domain walls are investigated under combined electro-mechanical loading and compared to recent experiments. The correlation between the microstructural change and macroscopic response provides evidence that the recently observed large strain actuation of ferroelectric materials is due to 90° domain switching.

Additional Information

© 2004 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 9 July 2004; accepted 4 September 2004; Available online 28 October 2004. This work was largely carried out when W.Z. held a position at Caltech. The authors thank Prof. G. Ravichandran for numerous discussions and gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Army Research Office under MURI Grant No. DAAD19-01-1-0517. Some of the computations were conducted in the Computational Materials Science facility of the NSF supported Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials at Caltech.

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