Among the numerous nanomaterials on offer, ferroelectric nanostructures are an extremely interesting candidate for further investigation thanks to their broad range of properties including spontaneous polarization, high dielectric permittivity as well as piezo- and pyroelectricity. More and more efforts are being made to synthesize and understand one-dimensional ferroelectric nanostructures, and some conventional perovskite ferroelectric nanotubes and nanowires have been developed.

Reporting their results in the journal Nanotechnology, materials scientists from Xiangtan University, China, have used electrospinning, which is a fast, productive and affordable technique, to fabricate La substituted BLT ferroelectric nanofibres.

The group's nanofibres have an effective piezoelectric coefficient (d33) that is three times higher compared with thin film materials and display "butterfly" loop ferroelectric behaviour. The results suggest that ferroelectric nanofibres may be well suited for the realization of nanoscale nonvolatile memory devices, says the team.

About the author

The work was performed at the Xiangtan University of China and financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (60876054) and Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (08JJ3122). Prof. Minghua Tang is a research fellow of the Materials and Device Group at Xiangtan University. Wei Shu is a Master student studying microelectronics at Xiangtan University. Feng Yang is a PhD student studying material physics and chemistry at Xiangtan University. Jun Zhang, Guangjun Dong and Jianwei Hou are Master students studying microelectronics at Xiangtan University.