High-strain piezoelectric materials are often ceramics with a complicated constitution. In particular, PZT is used with compositions near to a so-called morphotropic phase boundary, where not only different variants of the same phase (domains), but different phases may coexist. Micro-mechanical models for ferroelectric ceramics would be much more realistic, if these effects could be incorporated.
In this paper, we consider the conditions of mechanical and electrical compatibility of ferroelectric domain structures. We are able to address the question of coexistence of different crystallographic phases within the very same crystallite. In general, the spontaneous strain and spontaneous polarization of different phases are not compatible.
The numerical analysis of the derived relationships are susceptible to the crystallographic description of the phases in question. In this presentation, a simple analysis and analytical, composition dependent fit of strain and polarization of PZT at room temperature for available data are used. The outlined approach can be used to model the overall behavior of multi-variant and multi-phase crystallites with certain, simplified geometrical arrangements of the constituents.