Huge Piezoelectric Response of LaN-based Superlattices

Minglang Hu, Chang Liu, Lee A. Burton, Wei Ren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We construct LaN-based artificial superlattices to investigate the ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity using the volume matching conditions of the parent components that soften the elastic constant C33 and increase the piezoelectric modulus d33. The proposed superlattice consists of LaN and YN (or LaN and ScN) buckled monolayers alternately arranged along the crystallographic c-direction. The structure of polar wurtzite (w-LaYN/w-LaScN) is both mechanically and dynamically stable, and the computed energy barrier makes the ferroelectric polarization switching possible. We show that the epitaxial strain can modify the spontaneous ferroelectric polarization as well as d33. The LaN/YN superlattice exhibits a huge piezoelectric response in the unstrained state, due to their small c/a value and extremely soft C33. In addition, the epitaxial strain is revealed as effective control of the nature (indirect and direct) and value of the electronic band gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49805-49811
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number44
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Independent Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Advanced Special Steel and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Advanced Ferrometallurgy at Shanghai University
National Natural Science Foundation of China51672171, 12074241, 51911530124, 51861145315
Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality19010500500
Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft870024


    • density functional theory (DFT)
    • ferroelectric
    • heterostructure
    • piezoelectric
    • rare earth nitrides


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