Lead-free Ba0.9Ca0.1Ti0.9Zr0.1O3xLa (x=0.000, 0.005, 0.010, 0.015, and 0.020) ceramics have been prepared by hydrothermal method and were assisted by fast microwave sintering, and the effects of La-doping on the electrical properties of Ba0.9Ca0.1Ti0.9Zr0.1O3 were studied. The single orthorhombic phase was observed in the composition of x≤0.10 and the coexistence of orthorhombic and tetragonal phase were detected at x=0.015 and 0.020. The substitution of small amount of La3+ resulted in an decreasing of dielectric constant and dielectric loss, and they both possessed a minimum value at x=0.010. With the addition of x≥0.015, the Ba0.9Ca0.1Ti0.9Zr0.1O3xLa ceramics became semi-conductors and the PTC behavior was observed. The piezoelectric constant (d33) measured at 50 °C of the ceramics were increased after the partial substitution of La3+ because of the enhancement of coexistence of orthorhombic and tetragonal phases. The TC was decreased with increasing La3+, and the ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties cannot be detected at samples with x=0.02.

This paper was originally published in Materials Letters, 118 (2014), Pages 1-4.

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