Methods have been developed for the shape-selective synthesis of ferroelectric LiNbO3 nanoparticles. Decomposition of the single-source precursor, LiNb(O-Et)6, in the absence of surfactants, can reproducibly lead to either cube- or sphere-like nanoparticles. X-Ray diffraction shows that the LiNbO3 nanoparticles are rhombohedral (R3c). Sample properties were examined by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and Raman where both sets of nanoparticles exhibit ferroelectricity. The longitudinal piezoelectric coefficients, d33, varied with shape where the largest value was exhibited in the nanocubes (17 pm V21 for the cubes versus 12 pm V21 for spheres).
RSC Advances, 2012, 2, 1913–1916