In 1920, the ferroelectric effect was discovered by J. Valasek in potassium sodium tartrate tetrahydrate – known as “Rochelle salt.” Ferroelectric materials possess a spontaneous electrical polarization which can be switched reversibly between symmetry-equivalent states, and thus received their name by analogy with ferromagnets. Ferroelectrics can be made in inorganic, organic, and hybrid organic-inorganic compounds, with a wide range of forms (thin films, ceramics and bulk sing crystals) and exhibit many useful properties, including strong piezoelectricity and pyroelectricity, high permittivities, strong electro-optic effects, and the ability to store digital information in a non-volatile way. These properties have given them great applications potential in fields as diverse as energy recovery, acoustic and infrared sensing, actuation, medical ultrasound, information technology etc., and they are ubiquitous in modern society. The field continues to develop and renew itself, in fields such as metallic ferroelectrics, molecular ferroelectrics, multiferroics, and the exploration of multicaloric effects. Recent discoveries have injected new blood into the development of ferroelectric systems, and make it a strongly multidisciplinary field, spanning physics, chemistry, materials science, electronics, and even biology. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of ferroelectricity, this special topic will provide a comprehensive overview and the most recent advances in topics related to ferroelectrics and their many applications.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
Yumeng You; Southeast Univ., China
Rengen Xiong; Nanchang Univ., China
Chang-Beom Eom; Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
Roger Whatmore; Imperial College London, UK